Business English Email-Kyoto Hen


Learn about compliments in the general structure of business emails written in English.

The general structure of business emails written in English is Salutation, Greeting, Body, and Conclusion and Closing.

QUIZMr. Aoyama will write an email to ABC Corporation in English. This is the first time we have sent an e-mail to ABC Corporation, and we will send it to the e-mail address of the inquiry window posted on the homepage. In this case, which is the most appropriate compliment for writing an email?

  • A. Dear Info,
  • B. Dear Mr. Smith,
  • C. Dear ABC Corporation,
  • D. Dear Sir or Madam,

Correct answer D

At the beginning of the sentence, always use the greeting at the beginning. If you don't know the person in charge of the company that sends the email like this time, use "Dear Sir or Madam,". "To Whom It May Concern:" is recommended for more formal cases, such as when making a formal contact/request as a company to an unfamiliar person, or when the person's position is assumed to be high.

Explanation of other options

A: I quote the "Info" (meaning "information") of the account of the email address, but I do not use it as a tribute because it does not refer to a specific person.

B: This time, I don't know the name of the person to whom I'm sending the email, so I won't enter the name.

C: It's easy to make a mistake. In the case of C, it is not appropriate because it is an email addressed to everyone who is enrolled in ABC Corporation.


Normally, a comma (,) is used at the end of a compliment, but in more formal cases, a colon (:) may be used.

Let's Practice! Combine the appropriate compliments with the recipient

Assuming the recipient of the email, select the appropriate compliment from (A) to (E).

Email destination
  • To:
  • To:
  • To:
  • To:
  • To:
  • (THE)Dear Mr. Smith,
  • (B)Dear Ms. White,
  • (C)Dear Human Resources Director:
  • (D)To Whom It May Concern:
  • (AND)Dear Customer Service Representative:
1-(C) 2-(A) 3-(E) 4-(B) 5-(D)
  • ※5. About corporate affairs: This literally means "company / corporate business" and is used as the name of the department in charge of business related to management. Therefore, (D) used for more formal cases is appropriate.