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I (male) have a very good (female) friend over in the south-western United States that I met one year ago and we're exchanging mails or messages from time to time. We're both not older than 22 and I consider her a very open person. Note that this is not about dating her—just casually writing mails.

What would you suggest to end the mails with? It shouldn't sound too stiff, but also not too intimate. I definitely don't want to send "Kind regards", but also no "kisses".

In addition, I'd like to know if "cheers" is possible with US-American people?

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Cheers is acceptable for most Amerikanner ;) ~ Especially those who know the person they're speaking with isn't from the US. I actually use it quite a bit, and I'm from the "deep South" (but not that you'ld notice or anything) –  jcolebrand Jan 14 '11 at 20:02
    
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Why not sign your letters they way YOU do it, instead of the hypothetical way an American does it? If you are "very good" friends, she already knows you are not an American, right? –  GEdgar Aug 22 '12 at 13:57
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4 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

You don't have to end an email the way you end a letter. It doesn't require a "complimentary closing" such as "Kind regards" or "Sincerely". Such formality seems odd in emails.

You don't even have to use your name, since the recipient already knows who wrote it.

I would suggest a single short sentence, something like:

I really hope to see you soon.

or

It was great talking with you the other day.

If you must have a complimentary closing, maybe something like a simple "Best" or "Yours" ... but I have to say, even these sound a little stilted for the format.

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Only say "I really hope to see you soon" if you are likely to see the person soon - otherwise it might sound like you're requesting to meet them (which, depending on the context, may be inappropriate...). –  psmears Jan 14 '11 at 13:28
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@Robusto: Sure, and what you suggested would be entirely appropriate in many circumstances. The thing is, sometimes formulae like these can be used in contexts where their literal meaning does not apply (how many businesspeople write "Yours sincerely" when there is not an iota of sincerity in their message?), whereas others retain their literal meaning as well as being standard phrases. A non-native speaker could conceivably misunderstand the "I really hope to see you soon" as falling into the first category; that was what I was (possibly overcautiously) warning about :) –  psmears Jan 14 '11 at 14:38
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I don't know if I agree that emails are necessarily more informal than snail mail letters. I would certainly always sign my name at the bottom, instead of assuming the recipient knows who to associate my email address with. If nothing else, signing the email gives the recipient a hint about how to address me in return. –  Marthaª Jan 14 '11 at 16:41
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@Martha: That's cuz ur like totally last decade lolz ^_^ –  Robusto Jan 14 '11 at 18:01
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@psmears, I resemble that xkcd. Especially the alt text. :/ –  Marthaª Jan 14 '11 at 23:51
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There are many possible answers (things that come to mind that people have used in emails to me, that I think might be suitable in your situation, include "Bye for now", "Later", "Cheers", "Ciao", or even just signing your name).

But a good rule of thumb would be to follow what your correspondent does - so for example, if she says "Regards", I'd use that too :)

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Is "Cheers" appropriate for an American friend? –  b.roth Jan 14 '11 at 13:45
    
Thank you, that makes sense to me. I'll click through some older messages and see if there's any patter. I'm however not clear if there are any differences between how people from different genders greet each other. –  slhck Jan 14 '11 at 13:50
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+1 hahahah, in America, we have no such things as pleasantries. :D I highly recommend leaving it off until she replies with one. "Sincerely" was used for a very long time until American children stopped being taught how to spell. </rant> –  Stephen Furlani Jan 14 '11 at 15:41
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@Stephen I had a similar comment but for whatever reason it never posted. Too true here. Though, @psmears, if you have one of those accents that melt the hearts of girls here in the states when you struggle with a word every now and then (or it just screams refined, like a "proper" british accent does over here), maybe an over-formal gushy ending would be effective (Yours truly or something like that) to show that stereotypical "i'm refined because i'm not from the usa" type edge. seriously. –  rownage Jan 14 '11 at 16:38
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One important caveat with “follow what your correspondent does” is that (at least the people I know — US/UK twenty-somethings) it is quite common for a female writer to end with ‘love’ or ‘xx’ and not mean much by it, whereas for a male writer to use these forms carries a bit more significance. (This is related to how generally in Anglo culture, women are typically encouraged to be more demonstratively affectionate than men.) –  PLL Jan 14 '11 at 18:52
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I don't end emails to close friends with anything at all. The one exception is if I'm known to them by an unusual/humorous nickname, in which case I would sign with that name but still wouldn't include any closing phrase.

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Be careful of showing a lack of respect/consideration for others, especially a woman with whom you may want to progress with at a later date. I am wearing thin of this mentality that showing you simply care is “too much” work or effort or whatever, says lazy and scared/insecure about something personal and possibly not generous or considerate or others. Because something is "how it's done here today" is NOT a good reason to do something. Neither do I appreciate the suggestion to do what the other does; yuck…boring and weak. Be a leader, a brave individual and a good, strong man; yourself. This WILL be appreciated by all the “right” ones out there! You sound mature and respectful and I would like you to stay that way. I am a 40 American female and do not like emails without any closure, or one that is too informal (possibly protective of one’s self), especially from a guy whom I may be interested because it does not help me feel special or considered. A good rule ... always show deserved respect for everyone and if a female, also always treat her like a lady, even if just a friend. This show of respect is lacking in our males today, at least here in America, and I for one am very tiresome of that fact. Always use your brain when picking out gals to date, but also go with your heart and be open and real with everyone. I would sure appreciate that because it’s very hard to find. P.S.: I have an American born friend who lives in another American state than I who signs with “cheers” but only around holidays. I find it fun, but I am also unfamiliar with other country’s use(s). If you want to use it more, maybe include a short explanation of its use/meaning in your country.

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Welcome to the site! While we encourage answers, this particular answer seems almost more of a rant and doesn't particularly help to answer the question. The OP was simply asking for advice for how to close a letter to a friend, not dating advice. You likely received downvotes for this reason. If you edit your answer to be more on topic and a little better formatted, it would be better. –  Doc Jan 16 at 21:21
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