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The Correct Ways to End a Letter

Updated on August 1, 2012

You've written the perfect letter...

...But how should it end?

It has been the bane of many a person's life, and as a writer I often get asked:
"How should I close a letter... sincerely? Faithfully?"

Well, here I intend to take a few of the most common ways to end letters and explain the best times to use each one.

The Explanations

Yours Sincerely...

Also written as 'Sincerely Yours' or just 'Sincerely', this way of closing off a letter is for formal use. This means it is either a business correspondence, a letter of complaint, or any letter otherwise that isn't for social/personal purposes. However, you should be careful when writing this at the end of a letter, and it should only be written if:

  1. You know the name of the person the letter is addressed to
  2. You have developed a formal relationship of sorts with such person

Yours Faithfully

Also written as 'Faithfully Yours' or just 'Faithfully', this is another way of formally closing a letter. Where it differs from 'sincerely' however, is that it is for use when you are first opening a line of communication with somebody and/or you don't know the person you're writing to by name. So, if you have started your letter with the following:

  1. Dear Sir
  2. Dear Madam
  3. To Whom It May Concern

Then you should be closing it off with 'Yours Faithfully'

Other formal ways of closing a letter

There are other ways of formally closing a letter, particularly for business communications.

Here is a further list of formal ways to close a letter:

  • Kind Regards
  • Warm Regards
  • Regards
  • Respectfully Yours
  • Yours Respectfully
  • Respectfully

Personal Letter Endings

Here's me being completely honest: It is silly to try and read advice on ending a personal letter. A formal letter can be guided, but a personal letter is uniquely set depending on the relationship between you and the other person.

If the person you're writing to has a good sense of humour, you might want to end your letter with:

Yours Stinkily

However, if you really want some advice, here's a few suggestions:

  • With Love
  • Lots of Love
  • Yours Truly
  • Yours Affectionately
  • Yours Only
  • Write Soon

But in all honesty, depending on who you're writing to, you can write pretty much anything you like...

Hope this has helped!


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