I often end my emails just with "Regards, FirstName".

But I also often see "Best regards", "Kind regards" and "Sincerely".

What is the difference in tone and meaning? Is one more formal than the other? Is there a difference between US and UK?

  • @phenry The answers there seem to be mostly just lists of closings, not detailed explanations of when different ones are appropriate. – Barmar Feb 9 '15 at 21:28
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    To be honest, people don't pay much mind to what these closings actually say. There are a few stock phrases that get used (some a bit more businesslike than others), but I've never spent much time wondering why someone ended with "Sincerely" instead of "Regards" or vice-versa. – J.R. Feb 10 '15 at 1:39
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    This question asks what is the difference between x, y, z... where as the linked "duplicate" question asks for "give me a list of 'insert subject A' and a list of 'insert subject B'". – Trevor Boyd Smith Mar 14 '16 at 13:09

I'm from the UK and I personally use 'Regards' on its own, like you. Even to somebody I don't know. That's usually for the initial contact type of email, when I'm first raising a subject with somebody. Subsequent responses tend to become less formal, with either a simple 'Thanks' or no ending at all.

However, from your list above, I most often see 'Kind Regards' and in fact I received an email with this today. I'd suggest you could rank those in order of formality: Sincerely > Best Regards > Kind Regards.

I've pretty much never seen 'Sincerely' in an email though, as I think the medium is intrinsically less formal than other methods. In my opinion, there are ways to increase the formality slightly, such as by avoiding contractions for example.

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