Email Openings 20 Mayıs 2013

In Turkish when you refer to the name of the speaker at the start of an email, you might say ‘Sayın Tony Simpson’ or ‘Tony Bey Merhaba’. 

For some people, when they translate this into English, it becomes ‘Dear Tony Simpson’ or ‘Dear Tony Bey’.  However, in English we have to do something slightly different.  In our first email exchanges, we generally have to use the person’s surname or full name and ‘Mr’.  For example:

1)      Dear Mr Simpson, ( Using the surname)

2)      Dear Mr Tony Simpson, (Using the full name)


As the relationship gets closer with the person, you can slowly drop the ‘Mr’ to become less formal:

                Dear Tony Simpson

Finally if Tony Simpson signs off his email as ‘Tony’, then you can begin your next email with ‘Dear Tony,’.


In other words, to become less formal you need to let your client lead you in how they wish to be addressed. 


If you are addressing a woman then you have the choice of three beginnings to replace ‘Mr’ but they are slightly different:

(1)    Dear Mrs Elizabeth Simpson (The woman is married)

(2)    Dear Miss Elizabeth Simpson (The woman is single)

(3)    Dear Ms Elizabeth Simpson (This is neutral, we don’t know if she is married or not)

Many women now prefer number 3, ‘Ms’ as it is neutral, making them feel equal with the neutral male version of ‘Mr’.


Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at