Kathryn indigenous Hershey, Pennsylvania, composed asking a concern I should have actually answered a lengthy time ago. Kathryn wants to understand whether this punctuation is correct:

Dear Ms. Gaertner-Johnston;

What carry out you think? Is a semicolon exactly after the greeting? How about a comma or a colon?

The semicolon is dead wrong. The is never ever correct after ~ a greeting. Never in a letter and also never in one email. 

Kathryn claimed she started using the semicolon unconsciously, and also hers is the only explanation i can imagine for the extensive incorrect usage of the semicolon in salutations. 

You are watching: Which punctuation mark belongs at the end of the salutation

Here's the correct punctuation: a comma because that a an individual letter, a colon for a service letter, and either punctuation mark in an email. (The colon is formal.) yet remember: Dear isn't forced in email, even when writing to a stranger. Shot one the these 2 openings if you desire to sound professional without using Dear:

Hello, Ms. Gaertner-Johnston.

Ms. Gaertner-Johnston, I discovered your website, and also . . .

If you desire to sound friendly with a stranger, shot these:

Hi, Lynn. Hello Lynn, (English teachers don't prefer this choice. They desire a comma between Hi and the name.)Hello, Lynn. Greetings, Lynn.Lynn, thanks for the . . .

I've written a lot about greetings and also salutations. If girlfriend want an ext examples, use the search term salutations in the find box ~ above this blog. 

And currently I've written enough for someone on vacation. The lightning has passed, the pavement is dry, and the swimming pool is open again!

LynnSyntax Training


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