How to End an Email

What’s the best way to end an email? Sincerely? Thanks? Cheers? In this post, we’ll discuss the best (and worst) ways to sign off on an email.

It is very common for non-native speakers to use odd or inappropriate closing phrases when ending emails. Even the President of France used an odd choice when emailing U.S. President Barack Obama:

[French President] Hollande has caused amusement and exasperation on the social media after signing off a letter congratulating Barack Obama with “Friendly, Hollande”.

Source: Connexion France

What’s the Appropriate Way to End an Email?

We should first note the difference between formal writing and informal writing.

Formal Writing

If you’re applying to a degree program at a university or a job at a large corporation, you should write more formally. As such, you should end your emails with one of these phrases:

  • Sincerely
  • Best
  • Thank you
  • Thank you very much
  • I appreciate the opportunity

Informal Writing

If you are writing to a friend or close co-worker, you can write less formally. Feel free to end an email with something more casual. All of the phrases below are acceptable to use:

  • Cheers
  • Thanks!
  • Thanks

Phrases to Avoid

You should never end an email with one of these phrases:

  • Friendly,
    Unfortunately for Monsieur Hollande, ending a letter or email with Friendly is not correct.
  • Thx/THX/thank u
    Deliberately misspelling or abbreviating common words is usually reserved for very informal writing.

It’s so Complicated!

If this seems overly complex, don’t worry! For most emails, ending with a simple Thank you, is completely fine. This phrase is acceptably formal and will not cause offense.

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