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A salutation is a greeting used in a letter or other written or non-written communication. Salutations can be formal or informal. The most common form of salutation in a letter is Dear followed by the recipient's given name or title. For each style of salutation there is an accompanying style of complementary close, known as valediction. Examples of non-written salutations are bowing (common in Japan) or even addressing somebody by their name. A salutation can be interpreted as a form of a signal in which the receiver of the salutation is being acknowledged, respected or thanked. Another simple but very common example of a salutation is a military salute. By saluting another rank, that person is signalling or showing his or her acknowledgment of the importance or significance of that person and his or her rank. Some greetings are considered "rude" and others "polite."


For formal correspondence, it is common to use:

Sa'adat Assayid if the reader is male, and Sa'adat As'Sayyidah if female. It's commonly followed by a full name.

For informal correspondence:

Al akh if male, and Al okht if female, followed by a first name.

For more informal correspondence, Azizi if the reader is male, and Azizati if female. To address a group of people, A'ezza'e for informal correspondence, and in formal correspondence "Sadati" is commonly used and followed by Al A'ezza'a or "Almuhtarameen". To add more formality, it's common to begin the salutation with Ela (to), followed by the salutation and a full name.


Informal: Azizi Ahmed, Azizati Sarah, A'ezza'e members of the team or Member of the team Al A'ezzaa. Formal : Sa'adat Assayid Ahmed Abdullah, Sa'adat Assayidah Sarah Ibrahim, Sadati members of the team Almuh-tarameen. Common salutation for both formal and informal correspondence : Sa'adat Alostath Ahmed Abdullah, Sa'adat Alostatha Sarah Ibrahim. It is common to conclude the salutation with a Doa such as May god bless him/her or May god protect him/her. This Concluding Doa comes right after the full name of the correspondent.


The salutation "Dear" in combination with a name or a title is by far the most commonly used salutation in Bengali, in both formal and informal correspondence. It is commonly followed by either by an honorific and a surname, such as "Srohdeho/Jonab" or by a given name, such as "Srohdeho/Jonab John," However, it is not common in Bengali to use both a title of address and a person's given name: "Srodeho/Jonab John Smith" would not be correct form.

If the name of the intended recipient is unknown, acceptable salutations are:

Sroddheo (If the gender of the reader is unknown).
Sneher (If address someone younger).
Jahar Proti Iha projojjo (If the writer wishes to exclude the gender of the reader from the salutation and/or to convey that the reader should forward the copy to one more suited to receive or respond appropriately).


In Catalan, there are many types of salutations:

Informal salutations
Formal salutions


Dutch has two standard forms of salutation: one formal and the other informal. A person's title and surname always follows the salutation, regardless of formality. The formal salutation, "Geachte", is most commonly used in present formal communication, while the informal salutation "Beste" appears in informal communication. However, there is a tendency, especially among the younger generations, to also use this salutation in formal situations."

The standard formal Dutch salutation is followed by a title, a name and a comma:

Geachte heer <name>, (If the reader is Male).
Geachte mevrouw <name>, (If the reader is Female).
Geachte mejuffrouw <name>, (If the reader is Female, unmarried and younger than 25).
Geachte heer/mevrouw <name>, (If the gender of the reader is unknown).

The standard informal Dutch salutation is followed by a name and a comma:

Beste <name>, (For either Male and Female readers).

If the informal Dutch salutation is used in a formal context, the salutation is followed by a title, a name and a comma:

Beste meneer <name>, (If the reader is Male).
Beste mevrouw <name>, (If the reader is Female).
Beste meneer/mevrouw <name>, (if the gender of the reader is unknown).

In Dutch the following applies to <name> in salutations:


The salutation "Dear" in combination with a name or a title is by far the most commonly used salutation in both British and US English, in both formal and informal correspondence. It is commonly followed by either by an honorific and a surname, such as "Dear Mr. Smith," or by a given name, such as "Dear John,". (A Dear John letter has a specific connotation.) However, it is not common in English to use both a title of address and a person's given name: "Dear Mr. John Smith" would not be correct form.[citation needed] Sometimes, the salutation "To" is used for informal correspondence, for example "To Peter".

A comma follows the salutation and name, while a colon is used in place of a comma only in US business correspondence. This rule applies regardless of the level of formality of the correspondence.

If the name of the intended recipient is unknown, acceptable salutations are:

Dear Sir or Madam or 'Sir/Madam' (If the gender of the reader is unknown).
To Whom It May Concern (If the writer wishes to exclude the gender of the reader from the salutation and/or to convey that the reader should forward the copy to one more suited to receive or respond appropriately).
Dear Sir (If the reader is male).
Dear Madam (If the reader is female).

In older British usage and current US usage, abbreviations "Mr.", "Mrs.", "Dr." are typically followed by a period (full stop), as is "Ms." even though it is not really an abbreviation, but it is common in recent British usage to drop the period after all such titles. Professional titles such as "Professor" are frequently used both in business and in social correspondence. Dignitaries and holders of certain public office like "Mr. President," or "Dear Madam Secretary."

"Ms." is the marital-status neutral salutation for an adult woman and should always be applied in cases in which the marital status is irrelevant and/or unknown to the author. For example, if one is writing a business letter to a woman, "Ms." is expected. "Mrs." denotes an adult female who is married, but is applied only where the subject has self identified as such. "Miss" can apply to specifically unmarried women, however the term is being replaced more and more by 'Ms'.

"Miss" is the proper form of address for female children. "Master" is used in formal situations for addressing boys typically aged under 16, after which it is "Mr". "Master" in this case is of old English origin.

Messrs. or Messieurs is an historically used term to address many men rather than "Mr Pink, Mr White, et al." Messrs is the abbreviation (pronounced "messers") for messieurs and is used in English. Mesdames addresses many women. Pronounced 'Meydammes'.

On occasion, one may use "Sir" and/or "Madam" by itself as the salutation, with nothing preceding. The severe and old-fashioned formality of such a salutation makes it appropriate for very formal correspondence (for example, addressing a head of state, or a letter to the editor), but in the same way the formality and stiffness of such a salutation would make its use in friendly social correspondence inappropriate.


Standard salutation[edit]

The standard French salutation uses the normal style of address to the recipient of the letter, followed by a comma:

Monsieur, for a man.
Jeune homme for a male child (but is hardly ever used).
Mademoiselle, for a female child.
Madame, for an adult woman.

When writing specifically to a female where her marital status is irrelevant and/or unknown, the writer should use Madame, unless she is a child. When writing to an adult woman, one uses Madame, unless one knows that the person prefers Mademoiselle.

According to a traditional custom which still followed by some people nowadays, when writing to a female artist (actress, singer, etc.), one should use Mademoiselle, regardless of the marital status and age of the person.

When not knowing the gender of the person to whom one is writing, the appropriate salutation is

Madame, Monsieur,

In the case where the writer knows the recipient well or is in friendly terms with them, it is possible to add Cher/Chère in front of the address:

Cher Monsieur,
Chère Mademoiselle, (though this may not be considered as appropriate for a male writer who is not a close family relative of the recipient)
Chère Madame,

A salutation using Chère/Cher and a title (Madame/Monsieur/Docteur) followed by a person's name (e.g. Cher Monsieur Dupuis) used to be considered incorrect. However, maybe following English usage, such construction is rather common and deemed relatively formal nowadays.

In case the writer and the recipients are close friends or intimates, it is possible to use the given name of the recipient immediately after Cher/Chère.

In case they are family related, they may used their family link preceded by Cher/Chère. This is almost compulsory if the writer is a younger member of the family (child to parent, nephew to uncle/aunt, grandchild to grandparent, godchild to godparent) and left to the discretion of the writer in other cases.

Note that in French, the abbreviation for Monsieur is M. – the English "Mr." is incorrect (although often used, especially by banks).

Specific salutations[edit]

If the recipient holds a specific title, it must be inserted after the Monsieur/Madame:

Monsieur/Madame le Président, ("Mr./Madam President)
Monsieur/Madame l'Ambassadeur, ("Mr./Madam Ambassador)
Monsieur/Madame le Chancelier, ("Mr./Madam Chancellor)
Monsieur/Madame le (Premier) Ministre, ("Mr./Madam (Prime) Minister)
Monsieur/Madame le Directeur, ("Mr./Madam Director)
Monsieur/Madame le Professeur, ("Mr./Madam Professor)

In this case, one should always use Madame, and never Mademoiselle. Note also that in Québécois usage, many titles will be rendered in the feminine, contrary to practice in France (i.e. Madame la Présidente, Madame la Professeure, Madame la Directrice.)

In some cases, the wife of a dignitary may be entitled to a special address:

Madame l'Ambassadrice, (for the wife of an ambassador)
Madame la Générale, (for the wife of a officer)
Madame la Colonelle, (for the wife of a colonel)

If the recipient is a doctor, it is possible to use Docteur, or, more formally, Monsieur/Madame le Docteur, or, more casually, Cher Docteur, as salutation. This is often done for doctors of medicine. For other doctors, it is not common, even if the use is increasing, following the Anglo-Saxon custom. Basically one has to be consistent with the address: a letter sent to "Dr N. N." will use a salutation formula including Docteur, whereas a letter sent to "M./Mme N. N." will not.

If the recipient is a lawyer, notary (or various other legal positions), the proper salutation will be Maître ("Master"). The same salutation is used for famous writers, painters, and for members of the Académie française.

For some specific professions (lawyers, physicians, for instance), two persons exercising the same such profession will always use Cher Confrère (feminine: Chère Consœur).

The address may vary when writing to dignitaries. For instance, one will use:

if the writer knows well the priest/monk/nun recipient, it is possible to use (Très) Cher Père, (Très) Cher Frère, (Très) Chère Mère, (Très) Chère Sœur,: "(Most) Dear Father/Brother/Mother/Sister".


German has two types of general salutations that are mutually distinguishable from one another - a formal and an informal form.

The formal form usually begins with Sehr geehrte(r), although, rare as it is, it is possible to include the full name (e.g. Sehr geehrter Herr Johann Schmidt). With an unknown recipient, Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren is used with no variation on this.

Informal salutations in German tend to begin with Hallo; depending on the region with Moin (north of Hannover), Servus (typically in the south and west), although only used by locals; or Liebe(r), "dear", (e.g. Lieber Paul, Liebe Annette) — the latter should only be used if the recipient has been actually met in person or similar. It should be used with care because it can be otherwise perceived as patronizing or inappropriate, depending on the difference in age or social status.

Specific salutations appear in German very similar to the way they do in English, with the exception that in the address block of a letter German must include all or multiple salutations that can be abbreviated Herr Dr. Schmidt, or Herr Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Krämer, and can leave out the Herr or Frau. While in the opening of a letter the direct salutation is reduced to only the most important title Sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Schmidt, or Sehr geehrter Herr Professor Krämer. The same applies to female variant, Sehr geehrte Frau Prof. Krämer.

Further details in the German Wikipedia article de:Anrede


In position of the English "Dear" are the words "Poojya," "Aadarneeya," or "Priya" (from most formal to most informal), for social writing (e.g., relatives/friends). They would not usually be used for business writing. The second may be used in some instances, for example if writing to a teacher.

Formal ways of salutation include "Sri," "Sriman," "Srimati," "Chiranjeev," "Chiranjeevi Saubhagyavathi" and "Kumari." Of these, "Shri" and "Shrimaan" are used to respectfully address married (or presumed married) men. "Shrimati" (Abbr: "Smt.") is used for married women.

Shri is most commonly used salutation in Hindi for a married male, while for a married woman, Shrimati is used. For unmarried and young boys Kumar is used, whereas Kumari is the salutation used for unmarried and young girls.


Standard salutation[edit]

The standard Italian salutation uses the normal style of address to the recipient of the letter, followed by a comma:

Egregio Signore for a man (o Signor if followed by the surname).
Gentile Signorina for a single woman but it is seldom used in current italian.
Gentile Signora for a married woman or a single woman (once it was used also for a single woman of high rank or age)

Specific salutations[edit]

If the recipient holds a specific title:

Signor/Signora Presidente ("Mr./Mrs. President; sometimes the alternative feminine form Presidentessa can be used)
Egregio Dottor(e)/Gentile Dottoressa for anyone holding a university degree and professional journalists (Dottor if followed by surname)
Egregio Professor(e)/Gentile Professoressa for high-school teachers, university junior professors, and professional orchestra performers
Chiarissimo Professore/Chiarissima Professoressa for university senior professors
Magnifico Rettore/Magnifica Rettrice for university rectors
Maestro/Maestra for orchestra directors, choir directors and soloists


Written salutation includes "Sreeman" (ശ്രീമാ൯) for men and "Sreemathi" (ശ്രീമതി) for women. The language also uses "Bahumanapetta" (ബഹുമാനപ്പെട്ട) for both genders which has meaning similar to `Respected` in English.


In Persian language, formal and informal phrases are used for salutation and they are referred to as ehteremat (احترامات):

Formal salutation

Written by/for officials, a letter normally starts with the followings:


If the corresponding person is a doctor or holds Ph.D, or he or she is an engineer, Doktor (دکتر) or Mohandes (مهندس) must be added to the titles respectively. Same rules is practiced in military environments.

Following the above mentioned titles, different types of salutations may be used:


Formal Salutations[edit]

The standard formal Portuguese salutation uses an addressing expression such as Caro (Dear) or Excelentíssimo Senhor (Most Excellent Sir), followed by the addressee titles (e.g. Eng.) and addressee name.

Most expressions must be modified to account for addressee gender and number. Caro, for example, becomes:

Caro for a man;
Caros for a group of men;
Cara for a woman;
Caras for a group of women.

Since the advent of e-mail, the @ symbol has been used, informally, to stand for a and o simultaneously, hence:

Car@ for when the gender of the addressee is unknown or must not be mentioned;
Car@s for a group of men and women.

The formal expression Excelentíssimo Senhor is often abbreviated as:

Exmo. Sr. for a man;
Exma. Sra. for a woman;

Addressee titles can be professional and are often preceded by Sr. (Mr.) and almost always abbreviated (e.g. Arquitecto - Arq. (Architect), Engenheiro - Eng. (Engineer), Padre - Pe. (Priest)). An exception to this rule is the Medical Doctor (Médico Doutor), often addressed as Doutor, being the abbreviation Dr. instead used to address anyone holding a baccalaureate degree. Each military or ecclesiastic rank has one abbreviation, and, historically, nobility ranks also had one - for example, one of the ways of addressing the Portuguese Monarch would be Sua Majestade (Your Majesty) abbreviated as S.M. .

The title Sr. (Mr.) can also be used on its own, when appropriate.

Informal Salutions[edit]

Informal salutations may or may not be followed by the name of the addressee, and almost never contain any titles.

Olá (hello)
Oi (hi)
Querido / Querida (informally, Dear)


Formal salutations in Romanian are:

- Stimate / Stimată (Men/Women)
- Domn = Mr.
- Doamnă = Mrs.
- Domnișoară = Miss (for unmarried women, but is used only for close relations, otherwise, is considered offensive)


Stimate Domn, Stimată Doamnă (used when the reader is unknown)
Stimate Domnule Ungureanu, (used when the reader is a man and his last name is known - this is the most commonly used version)
Stimată Doamnă Ungureanu,(the reader is a woman and the last name is known, the most commonly used version)

Specific salutations in Romanian can be used with or without the last name:

Stimate Domnule Dr. Ungureanu; Stimate Domnule Doctor (the first version shows more respect)
Stimate Domnule Profesor Ungureanu; Stimate Domnule Profesor; Stimate Domnule Prof. Ungureanu (first two versions are better)
Stimate Domnule Academician; Stimate Domnule Academician Mihai Ungureanu
Stimate Domnule Director; Stimate Domnule Director Mihai Ungureanu(first version is more used)

Very formal, very official:

Multstimate Domnule Director (for a director, man)
Multstimată Doamnă Președinte (for a president, woman)
Onorate Domnule Ungureanu (understood as something like: "Honoured Mr. ...", is used in formal letters, usually has the same power as "Multstimate ...")

Formal for groups:

Onorată Comisie (addressed to a group of people, for example a commission)
Onorați Reprezentanți (addressed to a group of representatives)
Stimați/Onorați Participanți (both versions are good, addressed to a group of participants)


- Dragă (more used from men to women, or from women to men, but it is too familiar)
- Salut (same as Hi)


Dragă Ruxanda; Dragă Mihai (used usually with the first name)
Salut Ruxanda; Salut Mihai

Old salutations, can be found in old letters used primarily during the communism (today they are used only by closed communist communities, or by teenagers to make fun):

Stimate Tovarășe Ungureanu; Stimată Cetățeancă Ungureanu; Stimate Cetățean Ungureanu


In letters and during conversations, Russian speakers use

Уважаемый / Уважаемая (according to gender - M/F)
Многоуважаемый / Многоуважаемая
Глубокоуважаемый / Глубокоуважаемая

followed by the given name and patronymic. Salutations to unknown parties usually include an honorific like

Гражданин / Гражданка
Господин / Госпожа


Уважаемый господин Иванов
Уважаемая госпожа Иванова

In less formal conversations it is possible to use

Молодой человек (addressing a young man)
Девушка (addressing a young woman)


Informal salutations
Intermediate salutations. Not as simple as "hola" but can be use on every situation. They can be used in oral or written Spanish.
Formal salutations. Only written.

Formal Letter to unknown receipt.[edit]


Written salutation includes "Thiru/Thiruvalar" "திரு/திருவாளர்" for men , "Thirumathi"/"திருமதி" for women, "Selvi/Thiruniraiselvi" "செல்வி/திருநிறைச்செல்வி" for unmarried women and "Selvan/Thiruniraiselvan" "செல்வன்/திருநிறைச்செல்வன்" for unmarried men.


Various forms of salutation in Telugu are as follows: "Sri / Shri" ( శ్రీ ) is used to address men, "Srimathi / Shrimathi" ( శ్రీమతి ) is reserved for married woman. Unmarried girls are usually addressed as "Kumari" ( కుమారి ). In addressing a person in letter, usually in case of elders, "Poojyulaina" (పూజ్యులైన / పూజ్యనీయులైన) is often used although "Ganga Bhagirathi Samanulaina" ( గంగా భాఘీరతి సమానులైన )is used for female elders. When addressing a person who is younger, "Chiranjeevi" ( చిరంజీవి ) is commonly used irrespective of all genders. "Kumari" ( కుమారి ) is sometimes used for unmarried women and "Chiranjeevi Lakshmi Sowbhagyavathi ( చిరంజీవి లక్ష్మీ సౌభాగ్యవతి ) , Chi. La. Sow. ( ఛి. ల. సౌ. ) in short for married women

In addition, a suffix "garu" ( గారు ) is added as a respect or to address an elderly person irrespective of gender.


శ్రీ నరసింహ రాజు గారు, (Mr. Narasimharaju,)
పూజ్యనీయులైన నాన్నగారికి, (Respectful Father,)
కుమారి వందన, (Miss Vandana)
శ్రీమతి సుబ్బలక్ష్మి గారికి, (Mrs. Subbalakshmi)
గంగా భాఘీరతి సమానులైన శ్రీమతి సూర్య కుమారి గారికి, (Mrs. Suryakumari, )
చిరంజీవి గౌతం సాగర్, (Little Master Gowtham Sagar)
చిరంజీవి శ్రీజన్య, (Little Miss Sreejanya,)

చిరంజీవి లక్ష్మీ సౌభాగ్యవతి చందన కు, (Mrs. Chandana,)
ఛి. ల. సౌ. చందన కు, (Mrs. Chandana,)


In Turkish, there are two forms of salutations, formal and informal. Like most other languages, gender doesn't play a role in the salutation. When addressing somebody in formal writing, one uses "Sayın Name". If the title of the recipient is known, it is better to use it in place of the name, as in "Sayın Doktor."

In a formal salutation, if the recipient's name is unknown, one uses "Sayın Yetkili", which is similar to "Dear Sir/Madam" in English.

In an informal salutation, one uses "Sevgili Name," which has almost the same meaning with "Dear Name".


In correspondence and during conversations, Ukrainian speakers use the words "Шановний/Шановна" (Shanovnyy/Shanovna) or "Вельмишановний/Вельмишановна" (according to male/female gender) as a salutation, followed by the given name (sometimes also uses patronymic). Salutation to unknown persons often use "Пан/Пані" (Pan/Pani) (according to gender) or "Панове", "Панство" (Panove/Panstvo) (to unknown parties).

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]