What is the Ending of a Letter Called: Understanding the Significance of a Letter Closing

Have you ever found yourself wondering what the closing statement at the end of a letter is called? I know I have. It’s one of those things that we tend to use every day, but never really think twice about. We just sign off our emails or letters with it, without ever giving it much thought. But the truth is, this final statement is actually quite important. It leaves a lasting impression on the recipient and can set the tone for future correspondence. So what is it called? The answer is simple: it’s called a valediction.

Valediction comes from the Latin word “vale,” meaning “be well” or “farewell.” It refers to the final part of a written or spoken communication where the sender expresses good wishes to the recipient. The most common valediction used in letters and emails is “sincerely,” but there are many others that can be used depending on the situation. For example, “best regards,” “warm regards,” and “yours truly” are all common valedictions that add a touch of personality and warmth to a message.

So why is a valediction so important? Well, for starters, it shows that the sender has put some thought into their message. It’s a polite and professional way to end a letter or email, and signals that the sender respects the recipient’s time and attention. Additionally, a well-crafted valediction can help to leave a positive impression on the recipient, making them more likely to remember and respond to the message. Of course, the valediction is just one part of a letter or email, but it’s certainly an important one that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Types of Letter Endings

While the body of a letter is understandably the most significant, it’s crucial not to underestimate the importance of a well-crafted ending. Not only does it convey your gratitude to the recipient, but it also sets the tone for future correspondence. There are several types of letter endings from which you can choose, depending on the intention and tone of your letter.

  • Closing Phrases: These are standard, safe phrases that are polite and courteous to use in any letter. These include “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” “Yours truly,” and “Warm regards.” Use these phrases if you’re unsure which closing is appropriate.
  • Gratitude Closings: Use these if you want to show appreciation for the recipient’s time, help, or effort. Examples include “Thank you,” “With gratitude,” and “Much obliged.”
  • Action Closings: Similarly, use these endings to spur the recipient into taking action, such as “Looking forward to hearing from you,” “Eagerly waiting for your response,” and “Please reply soon.”

It’s essential to choose the right type of closing to match the intent and tone of your letter. While some may be more formal and traditional, others are friendlier and more casual. Always consider your relationship with the recipient and the reason for writing the letter before selecting an ending.

Importance of Letter Endings

Letter endings, also known as complimentary closes or valedictions, are important parts of a letter that signify the writer’s respect and gratitude towards the recipient. It serves as a last impression and can set the tone for future correspondence or relationships.

  • Professionalism: The way you end a letter can determine how seriously the recipient takes your message. A professional, formal closing like “Sincerely” or “Yours truly” can show that you take your communication seriously and are respectful of the recipient.
  • Courtesy: Adding a polite ending like “Thank you” or “Best regards” can show that you appreciate the recipient and their time. It can also make your message more memorable and leave a lasting impression.
  • Relationship Building: The way you close a letter can also impact the relationship you have with the recipient. Using a more personal ending like “Warmly” or “Take care” can help create a sense of familiarity and friendliness. However, it’s important to use these types of closings only when appropriate, such as when writing to a friend or family member.

Common Letter Endings

There are many different types of letter endings, but some of the most common include:

Formal Endings Informal Endings
Sincerely Warmly
Yours truly Best regards
Respectfully Cheers
Regards Take care

It’s important to choose an appropriate ending based on the tone and purpose of your letter. You should also consider your relationship with the recipient and the level of formality required.


Letter endings may seem like small details, but they can have a big impact on how your message is received. By choosing an appropriate and respectful closing, you can show your appreciation for the recipient and build a positive relationship. Take the time to consider your ending carefully and choose one that reflects the tone and purpose of your letter.

Appropriate letter endings for different situations

How you end a letter can be just as important as how you start it. Your choice of letter ending can either reinforce the message you have conveyed or undermine it. Below are some appropriate letter endings for different situations:

Formal Letter Endings

  • Respectfully
  • Sincerely
  • Yours truly

Formal letters require proper salutations and closings. They are usually written for business or professional communication purposes, such as job applications, cover letters, or complaint letters. A formal letter ending should show respect and convey professionalism.

Informal Letter Endings

  • Warmly
  • Love
  • Best regards

Informal letters, on the other hand, are often written to friends, family, or acquaintances. These letters allow for more freedom and creativity in terms of how you choose to end them. You can even use emojis or emoticons to convey your message in a more light-hearted manner.

Thank You Letter Endings

If you are writing a thank you letter, it is important to choose an appropriate ending that expresses gratitude and appreciation. Here are some examples of thank you letter endings:

Ending: Use when:
With appreciation You want to show that you are thankful for something specific.
Gratefully yours You want to express deep gratitude.
Warmest thanks You want to convey a sense of warmth and heartfelt thanks.

Remember, the ending of your letter can leave a lasting impression on the person reading it, so choose wisely and make sure it aligns with the tone and message of your letter.

Commonly used letter closings

When writing a letter, the closing serves as the writer’s final remarks and is one of the most important parts of the letter. It sets the tone for the entire letter and leaves a lasting impression on the recipient. There are numerous closing options available, but some are more appropriate for certain types of letters than others. Here are the commonly used letter closings to consider:

  • Sincerely – This is one of the most widely used letter closings and is appropriate for formal letters, business letters, and correspondence with people you have not met before.
  • Best regards – This closing is friendly and professional. It’s a perfect closing for business letters, especially those which require a cordial tone.
  • Thank you – This closing is suitable for letters expressing appreciation or gratitude, such as after a job interview or receiving a gift.

If you want to sound more friendly and personable, here are some options:

  • Take care – This closing is informal and appropriate for personal letters or correspondence with friends and family.
  • Warm regards – This closing conveys affability and good wishes. It can be used in both formal and informal letters.
  • Yours truly – This has a personal touch that can be used for both formal and informal letters. It’s a perfect closing for someone you know and have corresponded with in the past.

If you’re sending a letter to someone you know well, you can use the following:

  • Love – This is a warm and friendly closing to use in personal letters to family and close friends.
  • With gratitude – This closing acknowledges the recipient’s help and support and conveys a sense of gratitude.
  • Forever yours – This closing is an intimate and personal sentiment often used between lovers or close family members.

It’s important to choose the right closing that suits the tone of your letter, your relationship with the recipient, and the context in which the letter is written. In general, it’s best to keep the closing concise, clear, and polite.

How to write a professional letter closing

The way you close a letter can either make or break the impression you want to leave on your recipient. Whether it’s a business letter, cover letter, or even a personal letter, it’s essential to end it in a professional and respectful manner. Here are some tips on how to write a professional letter closing:

  • Keep it simple and professional. It’s best to stick to traditional endings such as “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” or “Thank you.” Avoid using overly casual phrases or slang.
  • Take into consideration the relationship between you and your recipient. If it’s a formal business letter, then a more formal closing is appropriate. If it’s a personal letter to a friend, then you can use a more relaxed closing.
  • Include a call to action if necessary. If you want the recipient to take a specific action, add it in the closing. For example, “Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.”

As important as the closing of your letter is, don’t forget to add your signature. It adds a personal touch and shows the recipient your professionalism and formality; make sure your signature looks neat and legible.

Below is an example of a professional letter closing and signature:

[Your Name]

Remember, the way you close your letter leaves a lasting impression on the recipient. A professional and respectful closing ensures your message is received positively.

Examples of memorable letter closings

How you close a letter can be just as important as how you start it. A memorable letter closing can leave a lasting impression on the recipient, so here are a few examples of closings that can inspire you.

  • “Yours always” – a classic closing that conveys affection and devotion
  • “Until we meet again” – a closing that suggests the promise of further interaction
  • “With gratitude” – a closing that expresses sincere thanks and appreciation

Keep in mind that a memorable closing should always match the tone and purpose of your letter. If you’re writing a more formal letter, a closing like “Sincerely” or “Respectfully yours” may be more appropriate. For a personal letter, feel free to get more creative.

Here’s a table that outlines some other commonly used letter closings:

Closing Meaning
Regards Polite and neutral
Best regards Friendly and warm
Warmly Intimate and informal
Cheers Casual and upbeat

Ultimately, the key to a memorable letter closing is to be authentic and genuine. A heartfelt closing can leave a lasting impression on the recipient and help to strengthen your relationship, so think carefully about how you want to end your letter before you hit send.

Etiquette for Letter Endings in Formal Correspondence

When it comes to writing formal letters, it is important to pay attention to every detail, including the ending of your letter. This is because it sets the tone for the entire letter and leaves a lasting impression on the recipient. Here are some tips to help you master the art of letter endings in formal correspondence.

7. Choosing the Right Complimentary Close

The complimentary close, also known as the sign-off, is the phrase that comes after the body of your letter and before your signature. It is an essential part of your letter and should be chosen carefully to ensure it is appropriate and professional.

  • Use “Sincerely” or “Yours faithfully” for formal business letters
  • Use “Regards” or “Best regards” for less formal business letters
  • Use “Yours truly” or “Very truly yours” for personal letters

It is important to note that the complimentary close should match the tone of the letter. For example, if you are writing a letter to a friend, you would not use “Yours faithfully” as it may come across as too formal and distant.

Formal Complimentary Closes Less Formal Complimentary Closes Personal Complimentary Closes
Sincerely Regards Yours truly
Yours faithfully Best regards Very truly yours
Respectfully Warm regards Love

In summary, the complimentary close is an important part of formal correspondence and should be chosen carefully to match the tone of your letter. By following these tips, you can ensure your letter endings are appropriate and professional.

FAQs: What is the Ending of a Letter Called?

1. What is the purpose of the ending of a letter?
The ending of a letter is designed to provide the reader with a sense of closure and signal that the letter is coming to an end.

2. What are some common endings for a letter?
Common endings for a letter include “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” “Yours truly,” and “Warm regards.”

3. Should the ending of a letter always be formal?
No, the ending of a letter can be formal or informal depending on the context of the letter and the relationship between the writer and the recipient.

4. Can the ending of a letter vary depending on the recipient?
Yes, the ending of a letter can vary depending on the recipient and the relationship between the writer and the recipient.

5. Is it necessary to include an ending in a letter?
Yes, it is important to include some type of ending in a letter as it helps bring closure to the letter and provides the reader with a clear signal that the letter is finished.

6. Can the ending of a letter include more than one phrase?
Yes, it is perfectly fine to include multiple phrases in the ending of a letter as long as they are brief and not too overwhelming.

7. Should the ending of a letter be handwritten, typed, or printed?
The ending of a letter can be handwritten, typed, or printed depending on personal preference and the tone of the letter.

Closing Thoughts: Thanks for Reading!

Hopefully, this article has provided you with some helpful insights on what the ending of a letter is called and how it is typically used. Remember, while there are certain conventions for writing letters, the most important thing is to convey your message in a clear and authentic way. Whether you’re writing a formal letter to a business associate or a heartfelt message to a family member, the ending of your letter should always feel natural and appropriate. Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you again soon!