Deciding on the best to sign off a letter can be a challenge! Back in the day, clear rules on sign-off etiquette meant people always knew the correct way to sign off a sympathy card, farewell card, or a thank you letter. A more relaxed attitude to written etiquette, fuelled by growing informality electronic communication, results in considerable confusion regarding card salutations. In particular, when to sign a card “with love” can be difficult to work out.
Here we take a look at what signing a card “with love” means, the correct way to close personal/formal letters, and alternatives to signing off a communication “with love“.
Signing off a card “with love“ may mean a number of things, depending on both the recipient and the sender. “With lovefrom mom (or dad)”, for example, is a clear statement of a parent’s enduring love for their child. A Mothers’ Day or Fathers’ Day card is also commonly (and correctly) signed “with love” from children.
Beyond signing off communications to family members, the term may also be used to sign-off a letter to a close friend; indicating a deep level of care and affection.
Older people may be more inclined to use “with love” sparingly, confining it to close family members. In contrast, younger people may sign off almost any letter or greeting card “with love” to indicate casual affection or good intent.
Personal letters may be closed in a variety of ways, depending on both the sender and recipient. Although many people now communicate via text or email, a traditional letter to a friend can be the perfect way to send a personal message.
Some of the most commonly sent personal letters are Christmas letters, a sympathy card, a thank you card, or a letter to congratulate someone on an achievement. Some example messages that can be used on informal occasions instead of, or as well as “with love“, are detailed below.
Christmas letters, including Christmas cards for business, may be signed off with:
Suitable sentiments for a sympathy card include:
There are some additional suggestions here if required.
As well as simply writing “Congratulations“, other sentiments that work well in a personal letter include:
In contrast to a greeting card, where a variety of different sign-offs can be used, professional letters have a set format for closing.
If you commenced the letter with “Dear Sir/Madam,” then the letter should be signed with the words, “Yours faithfully”, followed by your signature. However, if the letter commenced with the recipient’s name, for example, “Dear Dr Smith,” or “Dear Mrs Summers,” then it should be signed off, “Yours sincerely,” with your signature beneath.
Don’t forget that a business letter should also include your address and the date at the top of the page, as well as the address of the person or business that you’re communicating with.
For individuals who are struggling to decide the best way to close a letter, prior to adding one of the professional sign-offs indicated above, one of the following sentences may be of assistance:
Whilst “with love” can be used fairly freely for informal communication, there are certain situations when the expression shouldn’t be used as part of a letter closing, as it’s not appropriate. Some of these include:
If you are not sure which form of address to use, it’s best to opt for formal phrasing.
There are some situations where formal language isn’t required, but “with love” isn’t going to be a suitable message. Some commonly used sign-offs for a greetings card to a friend, an informal email or a letter include:
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