Is there any recommendation as to what should be the closing valedictions of a letter (formal and informal) regarding the tone and nature of the relationship? Example when to use

  1. "Yours sincerely"
  2. "Yours affectionately"
  3. "Yours truly"
  4. "Regards"/"Warm Regards"
  5. "Yours faithfully"

I am looking forward to an academically correct answer. Alternatively, can we use "Regards" irrespective of the tone and type of relationship?

  • Someone still writes letters?
    – Barmar
    Feb 8 at 18:41
  • What does the tag cisce mean?
    – Barmar
    Feb 8 at 18:41
  • 1
    By "academically accepted" do you mean that someone at a university will be the recipient of your letter?
    – TimR
    Feb 8 at 20:17
  • You must recognize that the word affectionately is borderline hitting on the recipient, and Warm Regards adds a too-personal tone. All others carry no special weight, just as my favorite, Thank you. Feb 8 at 20:33
  • cisce = Council For The Indian School Certificate Examinations academically accepted = accepted as per school work/assignment/test.
    – Abhijit
    Feb 8 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


The convention for formal letters is to use Yours sincerely if you are writing to someone by name (whether or not you know them personally) and Yours faithfully if writing to an organisation or to an official whose name you don't know.

There are no rules for informal letters. Nowadays, if they are on affectionate terms with the recipient, most people would simply sign Love, [name].

  • Old school, but what I was taught at my old school.
    – David
    Feb 8 at 20:33
  • It should perhaps be added that most people in the United States are unfamiliar with the sincerely/faithfully distinction (although there is no harm in following the distinction when writing to them). Also, Yours sincerely is usually just Sincerely in the United States (but there is, again, no harm is using the longer formulation when writing to people there as well). Also, there is a range of formulations (including (Warm) Regards and Yours [by itself]) that are less formal than these but do not imply quite the closeness that Love does.
    – jsw29
    Feb 8 at 22:13

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