In an e-mail, suppose we start with Hi John. Should I follow with

Hi John, some content (i)


Hi John,
some content (ii)

Is there any etiquette behind choice (i) vs (ii)?

closed as primarily opinion-based by user240918, Dan Bron, David, Rob_Ster, jimm101 Jan 19 '18 at 17:17

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I don't think John will be happy to receive your e-mail. Sorry I couldn't resist, your filler text made me laugh:) – Gary Nov 22 '17 at 16:32

You should use two new lines, so that there is a blank line between the “Hi John,” and the beginning of the email text. Similarly, you should use two new lines before your salutation. For example:

Hi John,

Thanks for coming to the meeting. Could you send me the slides you mentioned by the end of the day?


It’s not an etiquette thing. Some people don’t format their emails like this, but that's done primarily out of laziness rather than rudeness in my experience.

By the way, you can use the code environment on this page to ignore the website’s formatting rules. I’ve edited it into your post.

  • Many thanks for your reply. I received a few e-mails from university staffs using the format (i). Perhaps they just want to get rid of me :( – J.Doe Nov 22 '17 at 16:08
  • @J.Doe It’s not an etiquette thing, it’s a laziness thing. It’s not correctly formatted, but it’s not /rude/ anymore than using improper grammar is rude. – Stella Biderman Nov 22 '17 at 16:10
  • @J.Doe No problem. You can click the check mark next to my answer to mark the question as answered. – Stella Biderman Nov 22 '17 at 16:31
  • 1
    Please don’t misuse code formatting to format things that are not code if there is a better alternative (as there is in this case). Blockquotes should be formatted as blockquotes, not as code. If I wanted to be really pedantic, I would also argue that you should not use two new line feeds to separate the salutation from the content, but a paragraph marker—that way you get the desired spacing without the semantically void and inelegant empty line. Most e-mail clients require more fiddling about with to do that than most users are willing/able to provide, though. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 22 '17 at 16:59
  • 1
    @StellaBiderman That’s talking about coding syntax, not English syntax—an entirely different matter. On SO, there are more uses for code tags than here on ELU. There are two main reasons not to use it here: 1) assistive technologies like screen readers for the blind often read code by the letter or in other unintuitive ways; and 2) code lines don’t wrap, which is especially a problem for users on mobile devices, leading to a lot of very cumbersome horizontal scrolling back and forth. If there is a non-code way of doing it, that will always be preferred. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 22 '17 at 19:09

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