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A salutation is a greeting used in a letter or other written communication, such as an email. 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.



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 very 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 both British and American 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," 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.

A comma follows the salutation and name, while a colon is used in place of a comma only in American 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/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 American 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" or "Doctor" are frequently used both in business and in social correspondence. Dignitaries and holders of certain public offices are sometimes addressed by their titles, e.g. "Dear Lord Mayor," although in American practice the office is commonly prefixed by "Mr" or "Madam" as in "Dear Mr. President," or "Dear Madam Secretary."

"Ms." is 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 entirely appropriate. "Mrs." is applied to specifically known married women, though not always in the case where a wife keeps her surname given at birth. "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" was previously 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 a 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 proceding. 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

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
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 single woman, one uses Madame, unless one knows that the person prefersMademoiselle.

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 and is in friendly terms with them, it is possible to add Cher/Chère in front of the address:

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

An address using Chère/Cher and a title (Madame/Monsieur/Docteur) should normally not be followed by a person's name; the address Cher Monsieur Dupuis is thus usually considered incorrect.

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 not used.

Specific salutations

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 general 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, notar (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 Liebe(r), "dear", (e.g. Lieber Paul, Liebe Annette)

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. Lamotke. While in the opening of a letter the direct salutation is reduced to only the most important title and not abbreviated Sehr geehrter Herr Doktor Schmidt, or Sehr geehrter Herr Professor Lamotke. The same applies to female variants Frau Prof. Dr. Lamotke, and Sehr geehrte Frau Professor Lamotke.

Further details in the German Wikipedia article de:Anrede


Standard salutation

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

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 an 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


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


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.


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


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,)


Written salutation includes "Thiru/Thiruvalar" "திரு/திருவாளர்" for men and "Thirumathi"/"திருமதி" for women.


In correspondence and during conversations, Russian speakers use the word "Уважаемый"/"Уважаемая" (according to gender) as a salutation, followed by the given name and patronymic. Salutations to unknown parties usually include an honorific like "Гражданин", "Господин" or "Товарищ" ("Гражданка," "Госпожа," or "Товарищ" being the feminine counterparts). It is possible to use "Молодой человек" or "Девушка" in less formal conversations.


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).


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:


In Catalan, there are many types of salutations:

Informal salutations
Formal salutions

See also

Further reading