Closing lines of letters and emails (correct punctuation and degrees of formality)

Closing (formal) 

In the closing paragraph of a formal letter, state what you would like the recipient to do, make a reference to a future event, or offer to help...

EXAMPLE: I look forward to hearing from you soon / I look forward to receiving your reply,

EXAMPLE: I look forward to receiving a full refund, (in a complaint letter)

AVOID: I look forward to hear ...  <<< common grammatical error

AVOID: I look forward to receive ... <<< common grammatical error

EXAMPLE: I would like to know what you are going to do about this situation,  (in a complaint letter)

EXAMPLE: I would like to thank you in advance for this information, (in an enquiry letter/requesting information)

EXAMPLE: If you require/Should you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me/feel free to contact me.

Signing off (formal British usage) 

Use 'Yours sincerely,' when writing to a named person.

Use 'Yours faithfully,' when using the 'Dear Sir/Madam' greeting.

Use the semi-formal 'Best regards,' or 'Kind regards,' if you wish the tone to be slightly less formal.

EXAMPLE: Dear Mr Jones, (...) Yours sincerely, 

EXAMPLE: Dear Sir/Madam, (...) Yours faithfully, 

EXAMPLE: Dear John, (...) Best regards, (respectful/professional)

EXAMPLE: Dear John, (...) Kind regards, (respectful/professional)

The closing (punctuation)

The closing always takes a comma.

Note that only the first word of the closing is capitalised, not the second word.

EXAMPLE: Yours sincerely, 

EXAMPLE: Yours faithfully, 

EXAMPLE: Best regards, 

Reference list

Learning English 'FCE Formal Letter' Retrieved from

Oxford Living Dictionaries 'Choose the right greeting and sign off'. Retrieved from

Oxford University Press 'Sample formal letter' ["PDF file] Retrieved from