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Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

business letters: salutation

The salutation will vary depending upon the person addressed and the nature of the letter. The following are some appropriate salutations for various circumstances:

  • Sir or Dear Sir
    Madam or Dear Madam
    (for very formal correspondence, when receiver’s gender identity is known)
  • Dear Mr. or Mrs.
    or Ms. Jones
    (for a standard letter, when receiver’s gender identity is known)
  • Dear C. Jones, Dear Chris Jones
    (if receiver’s gender or gender identity is not known)
  • Dear Customer Service Manager
    Dear Occupant
    (where a title is used but the receiver’s name is not known)

It is not recommended that Mr., Mrs. or Ms. be used with a title as a salutation, as in "Mr. Premier."

The salutation begins at the left margin. Use capitals for the first word and all nouns in the salutation of a letter. The salutation is usually followed by a colon in a business letter. For more information on punctuation, see COLONS.