Business English Module: EFFECTIVE EMAILS (B2)

2. Topping and tailing: starting and ending emails

a. Which do you think is the most common greeting at the start of an email? Why is it most often used?

  • Hi + first name
  • Hey + first name
  • Dear + first name
  • Dear + title + last name

b. What other greetings are possible? Make a list, then compare it with a partner.

c. What can you use as a greeting, when…

  • …you’re emailing ten work colleagues about something work related?
  • …you’re emailing three work colleagues to arrange dinner?
  • …you’re sending a job application to an HR department and don’t know who’s going to receive the application?
  • …you’re emailing a company and have no idea who’s going to receive the email?

d. What is the effect of these opening greetings, and which do you prefer?

(Change Luke to your own name, if it helps!)

Hi Luke,Hi Luke.Hi Luke
Hi Luke-Hi Luke…Hi Luke!

e. Which of these sign-offs are more formal and which are more informal?

  • Best wishes,
  • Kind regards,
  • Yours sincerely,
  • Have a great weekend!
  • Yours faithfully,
  • Sincerely,
  • Best,
  • Regards,
  • See you soon,
  • Wishing you a great weekend,

f. Which of the sign-offs above sound friendly and which sound less friendly?

g. If you had to pick just one greeting and one sign-off to use for every email you write in future, formal and informal, which would you choose?

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