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Possible Duplicate:
Should you use a comma/period after “Thanks”/“Regards” in email signatures?

When writing a letter, do we put a comma or a period after the valediction?

  1. Sincerely,
    John Doe

  2. Sincerely.
    John Doe

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marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, RegDwigнt May 23 '12 at 13:48

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The comma is the only acceptable punctuation to place after the valediction:

Sincerely,
John Doe

This is because the period is only necessary at the end of a sentence or abbreviation. The comma, on the other hand, usually separates related phrases within a sentence. In this case, the context is not a sentence (Sincerely, John Doe), but convention has established the usage of a comma in a letter's closing in much the same capacity as in a sentence.

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