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July 18, 2012


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G'day Lynn,
English is not my first language. your blog and writing helps me a lot. I really appreciate your work.

McClain Watson

This is very helpful, Lynn. *Everyone* appreciates a pleasant greeting up front, even in a routine work email. It is sort of the equivalent of the generic "How are you" "Fine, thanks" that we do in the beginning of a f2f chat. You just want to hit the "I am a friendly human being and want this interaction to go well" note. Your sentences are great and most would also work at the closing of an email too, where it is also important to hit a similarly pleasant note. Thanks!


Great topic, Lynn. I am a firm believer in the polite opening sentence, especially if the email I'm sending includes a request of some sort.

I will definitely use some of your suggestions.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Thank you, Wak, McClain, and James, for getting into this conversation.

Wak, I am glad to be helpful!

McClain, I like your suggestion about adding a courteous remark to our email closings. As for openings, though, I believe not everyone appreciates or needs a greeting. Some people in my writing classes have told me they wish others would "cut to the chase." It is terrific if we can know the type of communication certain individuals prefer.

James, I am glad you will use some of the examples. When you are requesting, it IS typically a good idea to begin courteously.


Richard Wilkinson

Your opening lines are excellent, Lynn. I'm keenly aware that the American approach to email communication is too abrupt in Africa and India. Sometimes I want to express appreciation or empathy at the beginning before getting into the meat of a message. For example, to a colleague going through a difficult time in India recently I started with, "Hope you’re holding up given all that is going on!" To a colleague in Botswana I began the email with, "It was great catching up with you today."

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello, Richard. Thank you for your expert view and the sample opening sentences.

I clicked your link to reacquaint myself with your organization, I-TECH. I can see that communication at I-TECH must require a high degree of cultural sensitivity.

Thank you for taking the time to comment.


Hari Prakash

Nice post. Helped me a lot.

Jonathan SEO

Hi Lynn.

I'm very interested in this topic and I appreciate the list of openers you wrote in this post.

But I have to tell you that I receive a lot of SPAM emails that unfortunately starts with some of these openers (expecially the ones starting with "I hope...").

So, now, maybe since I'm not a native speaker, some of them remind me those ugly spam emails...

Maybe I have to get used to them again...

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Jonathan.

You are correct. Spam email can begin with "I hope" or "I trust," just as non-spam can. I normally recognize spam because of odd sentence structures and word usage.

Let's not let spammers determine how we write!

Thanks for stopping by to comment. I wish you success with your business.


Shakir Afridi

Greeting to everyone, I am Shakir Afridi.

Today I just visited to this site by chance and noted all the opening sentences for possible formal starting and I loved it. Thank You

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello, Shakir Afridi. I am glad you stopped by. Thanks for commenting on the sentences.



Lynn Gaertner-Johnston's Business Writing Blog is a wonderful source with ideas, techniques, and smart hints! She also explains a lot in few words, and helps you get only what you need to write more professionally in business. I so appreciate your efforts Lynn to come up with this very helpful blog!

I needed just a little help, and I found here a lot of it!

Hayaat Q

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello, Hayaat. I am very grateful for your generous comments. Thank you for making my day (in American English, that's a short version of "making my day happier").



how to i write properly finding attachment sentences

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

AZ, this post should help you:


Aranka Backin

Hi Lynn,

Thanks a lot for your helpful response.I really like your businesswritingblog. I know now I can learn from you a lot,because English is not my first language.
'I hope I have write correct."
Thank you again.
Best regards,

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Aranka, you are welcome.



Dear Lynn..!
Please tell me that is a right sentence???
" i hope you to be fine today."

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Azzi, the sentence is not correct. Try this:

"I hope you are fine."



Lynn, i just found your site when i needed to reassure if an email i was writing was correct.

Thank you very much for your work. As a non native English speaker your site is a treasure.


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Monica. Thanks for your kind words.



Dear lynn,

Writing is the most difficult skills in english, I thought.
Your distribution is very helpful for people....
Wish you great health to go on.

From Vietnam

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Tuan, thank you for your kind message.



Is this a correct sentence to start with "Hope this mail finds you in a robust health and sound mood". Please assist.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Prakash, I would not use that sentence. Here are some of my concerns:

1. Who is hoping? We? I?
2. You do not need the "a" before "robust health."
3. "Sound mood" may suggest that sometimes the reader is a raving maniac.

Why not try some of the suggestions I offered in the blog post above?



Hi Lynn, this is an extremely useful article.
Can I use " Trust you are doing good? "


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello, Nikunj. "Trust you are doing good" is grammatically incorrect. I recommend "I trust you are doing well."



Hello Lynn,

I just happened to read some of your tips on business writing and found them very helpful. Just because we're writing an email and not a formal letter doesn't necessarily mean we have to forget about grammar rules or politeness. I've just saved your blog to my favorites folder.
Thank you.


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Laura, I agree! Politeness and correctness are helpful in any business message.



please write me more begining sentences while writing the sentences

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Aziz, I do not understand your request.


kate dircksen

Usually I don't learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great article.

Kaneez Fatima

It was nice to have such a great article for the reference...


Eihab Alammar

Lynn, Thank you for your hard work. This blog has served me will when starting an email. I also would like to add the following:
•Happy (Type in the day) and I hope you are having an outstanding week!
•I hope you had a perfect weekend!
Please reach out to me for any feedback, concerns or clarification on anything

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Eihab, thank you for your suggestions. I would change the first one slightly so that it is two sentences:

"Happy Tuesday! I hope you are having an outstanding week."

I suggest using two sentences because you are conveying two ideas.

I appreciate your commenting.


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