I've been unable to find a consensus on whether or not one should capitalize the salutation before your signature in correspondence, email or otherwise.

For example:

Sincerely, XedMada


According to the Cambridge GCE , GCSE and iGCSE English Language Letter Writing Formats, it is recommended to write Yours Sincerely instead of just Sincerely. You should capitalize Yours in the Signature Block. . Here is an example:

Yours sincerely
Lee Poh Lin
Lee Poh Lin (Ms)
P.R. Manager

The International Business Letter Format recommends capitalizing Sincerely:

"Sincerely" is Capitalized.

Overall most letter formats recommend capitalizing "Sincerely". Also, if you are writing the letter on paper, it is advised to write the Salutation Block in a black or blue pen.

  • 2
    If you handwrite the entire letter on paper, the salutation block should be written in the same color pen as the rest of the letter. For a more formal letter, this should be black or blue. For an informal letter, any color is fine. – Peter Shor Jan 15 '12 at 12:00
  • Much of this answer is irrelevant. The question does not ask for alternatives to "Sincerely" or recommendations for ink color. – MetaEd Jan 16 '12 at 17:16
  • Overall most letter formats recommend capitalizing "Sincerely" ~The Answer. – ApprenticeHacker Jan 17 '12 at 4:07

You should capitalize only the first word in salutation, as in

Dear Mr. X

My dear Mr. X

and also, only the first word of closing


Very truly yours

  • 1
    What is your authority for saying so? It seems to me that this is a matter of personal choice. – Barrie England Jan 15 '12 at 8:14
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    @BarrieEngland I did not post that answer as an authority or some subject matter expert. This is what I have seen being used most of the times, and before posting the answer, I Googled for any such generally accepted standards, (if any). – Incognito Jan 15 '12 at 8:23
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    My experience is that there is no established practice. I myself am just as likely to write 'Yours Sincerely' as 'Yours sincerely'. With the increasing use of email with its greater informality, it's a question that is likely to of diminishing importance anyway. – Barrie England Jan 15 '12 at 8:37

The salutation and closing of a business letter are formulaic sentences, nothing more. That is, there is very little variation in salutations and closings from one business letter to another. But the rules for sentence construction, capitalization, and punctuation still apply. You will normally see the salutation and closing capitalized because they are normally the start of a new sentence.

protected by tchrist Mar 1 '15 at 18:19

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