Q:

When do you use the phrase "respectfully yours?"

A:

Quick Answer

"Respectfully yours" is an appropriate closing for a letter to a known person. This closing is a way for writers to make their writing more personal by moving the level of formality down a notch from the typical closings of "regards" or "sincerely."

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When do you use the phrase "respectfully yours?"
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Full Answer

Closings vary in their level of formality. Writers can show thought by carefully choosing an appropriate closing word or phrase to conclude a letter. For a business letter, a formal closing conveys a sense of seriousness and professionalism. Options include "sincerely" along with elegant two-word phrases like "yours truly." Sometimes, the optimal closing is dictated by the specific purpose of the letter. "Best wishes" is appropriate for letters to a specific person where some form of encouragement is warranted. To conclude a letter designed to express thanks for an action performed by another person, a writer might close by using "with thanks" or "with appreciation."

General-purpose letters to an individual lend themselves to a variety of closings. Options available to writers range from "best regards" to "respectfully yours." Of utmost importance to a writer, regardless of whether the communication is print-based or electronic, is ensuring the closing is both complimentary and professional. In e-mail, abbreviations such as "KR" and "Rgds" in place of "Kind regards" or "Regards" convey a lack of professionalism.

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