Email writing: How to start and end an email in English

Do you have trouble deciding how to start and end your emails in English? In this video, Justin from The London School of English Canterbury teaches you how to do it well. He also explains how to use different expressions depending on your familiarity with the person you are sending your email to. Is it better to say 'Yours sincerely' or 'Cheers'? Watch this video to find out!

Email writing tips

The following list will help you to decide how to choose the most appropriate words to start and end your emails.

Starting an email in English


This is a safe, formal and polite way of addressing somebody, particularly if you have not communicated with them before.


'Hello' has a mixture of formality, politeness and friendliness. It is a good way to start an email.


'Hi' is much more informal. You would probably use it with a person you know quite well, particularly with a colleague or people in your team.

Ending an email

Yours sincerely

This is the most formal way to end an email in English. It is a safe and polite way of addressing somebody you don't know very well.

Kind regards / Best regards

These two impressions mean the same thing. This is the standard way people end business emails in English these days.

Best wishes

This is a friendly, slightly formal but an appropriate way of ending an email to somebody you know reasonably well.


This is a very informal way of ending an email. You can use the ending 'Thanks' if you know someone very well. This could be your team member, a colleague or a client that you have known for a long time. 


As 'Thanks' above, this is a very informal ending. You should use it only if you know someone really well and are in touch with them on a fairly regular basis.

If you are still not sure how to start or end your email and you have already received an email from somebody then you can simply copy the way they started and ended their email. 

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