I must send a professional email but I'm not sure what is best to start it with, hi or hello.

The question may seem to be simple, but unfortunately I am not too good in English.

  • 4
    Someone on ELU has asked about formally introducing yourself in an email. It includes how to begin your email (they use "Dear Mr Jones," in the example). Starting with "Hi (name)," or "Hello (name)," is usually acceptable for informal exchanges between colleagues. They're equally informal, in my eyes. In a professional setting, I'd stick with "Dear Mr/Mrs (last name)" if you have any doubts and toss out "hi" and "hello" altogether.
    – Zairja
    Nov 2, 2012 at 16:02
  • Perfect !! Thanks a lot for the information :) The one who has down vote, wan't's to explane why ?
    – KodeFor.Me
    Nov 2, 2012 at 16:03
  • Also, if you have work-related questions similar to this, you might also try asking at The Workplace(workplace.stackexchange.com).
    – Zairja
    Nov 2, 2012 at 16:10
  • 1
    This is hopelessly subjective, and thus Not Constructive. Nov 2, 2012 at 17:53
  • 1
    @MerianosNikos as long as you use smileys, put spaces before punctuation marks, and don't show signs of caring for spelling, it doesn't matter what words you use. Your writing will come off as sloppy and unprofessional.
    – RegDwigнt
    Nov 2, 2012 at 18:52

3 Answers 3


I believe Hi is less formal than Hello, But if you want to know when to use what ,I prefer Hello for the phone, letters and Hi in face to face conversation or gestures and Instant messages .Rest is really your choice.

I remember one time I used Hello in that email at office and my senior advised me to use Hi. I believe he didn't have the reasonable explanation but due to culture of the office he said so. What I understood from this is that it also depends on the culture of the particular place.


Hi is slightly too informal for an introductory email.


This is a matter of personal preference and style. To my knowledge, the following seem to be acceptable usage:

Hello, Jim. or Hello Jim,


Hi Jim, or Hi, Jim.

Dear Jim, or Dear Sir,

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