Dear In a Letter
Business Writing Tips Vocabulary

Dear In a Letter

Dear is a word that is multifaceted. The word “dear” is used to show affection and admiration. It is a term of respect that is often used in a formal letter to authorities and dignitaries. It is also used to show closeness and familiarity, such as in “Dear Grandma.” Dear can be a noun or an adjective.

Is It Good to Write Dear in a Formal Letter

Dear is a formal way of addressing someone in a letter.
However, It’s not bad to write ”Hello” and ”Hi”, but it’s not formal either. If you’re writing to someone you don’t know well, or someone who is of higher rank than you, then it might be appropriate to say “Dear Mr. Brown or Dear Ms. Wilson”. If you’re writing to someone who is younger than you or if they are your colleague, then “Dear Mr. or Dear Ms.” would be inappropriate. You can just say ”Dear Sarah”.
Including Dear in a letter isn’t the right thing or the wrong thing; it just depends on how well you know the person that you want to send your letter to.

How to Use Dear When You Don’t Know the Recipient’s Name

There are three ways:
1) Dear Sir – In the United States, Dear Sir is usually used as a salutation for an unknown person. In Great Britain, Dear Sir is often used for an unknown male recipient. However, it is not unusual for an American and British reader to interpret Dear Sir differently because of their different cultures and expectations.
2) Dear Madam – A courteous greeting when you are writing to a woman who is in a higher social position than you.
3) Dear Sir or Madam – When you do not know the gender of the recipient of your letter. This form of address often creates a sense of formality and elegance when it’s used properly.

When Can I say ”Dear Mrs. and Dear Ms.”

Women are generally addressed as ”Ms”. Only use ”Mrs” if you’re sure that the woman is married and that she uses her married name. Avoid using ”Miss” unless you know that you’re writing to a young girl (under the age of 16) or to a much older woman who never married. To be on the safe side, most writers use ”Ms”, the female equivalent of ”Mr”.

Do I Need a Comma after Dear Mr. Brown

No, you don’t need to put a comma after the opening of your letter:
Dear Sarah
Dear Mr. Brown
Dear Sir or Madam


For some people, a comma after the salutation of a letter is a spelling mistake. They will look for the comma to correct it and then continue with their letter. Others have no opinion on it and simply put the comma or leave it out.
The decision to use or not use a comma after the salutation is entirely up to the preference and personal taste of the writer. But we don’t recommend using a comma after the salutation ”Dear”.

Can I Use Dear in an Email

Letters start with ”Dear (NAME)”. Emails often start without a name, or with ”Hello” or ”Hi”. But to answer this question – yes, you can use Dear in an Email. In fact, this is a common greeting used in email.
You can address the recipient of your email with a salutation, like “Dear Jessica” or “Dear James”.

Sample Letter Using Dear

EXAMPLE 1

Mr. J.P. Williams
Branch Manager
Financial Bank PLS
12 Highway Avenue
Banbury
Kent AK2 6E8

Our ref: FR/ AT 9409
Your ref: OR/ 304

Dear Mr. William

Thank you for your inquiry of 3rd March. We hope you will find the enclosed information useful. Thank you once again for the interest shown in our products.

Yours sincerely
Thomas Smith
Export Manager

EXAMPLE 2

Purchasing Department
Barnes & Sons
100 Greyson Gardens
London W1 SQ2

Jens Muller
Tel: +49 (0)30 33 44 5507
Email: j.muller@luxiphon.de

Dear Customer

We are pleased to announce that our company has recently been accepted as an official supplier to the Foreign Office in Germany.

This prestigious contract is a recognition of the excellent quality and service we always strive to offer our customers. To mark the event we are offering special prices on our Mars and Princess ranges if you place your order before the 1st of September. We are sending you our latest catalog under a separate cover.

We look forward to maintaining the special relationship we have with our customers and continuing to provide them with the prompt service and quality products they are accustomed to.

Yours Sincerely
Jens Muller
Sales Manager

Conclusion – ”Dear” An Essential Part of Any Letter

Writing a letter is not as easy as it seems. It’s a formal and official correspondence, so it needs to be formatted correctly and in the correct language. The salutation is an important part that helps the reader know who’s writing the letter to them.

The rules of using the salutation ”Dear” depend on what kind of communication you are sending – whether it’s a business communication or a personal one, whether addressed to individuals or groups, and what is your relationship with the recipient of this letter.

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