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Thread: How do you do

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    How do you do

    Hi all!
    The question is mainly to the native speakers. When writing a business letter to a person to whom I’m not introduced, is it necessary or acceptable (is it correct) to start with: How do you do? How would you start the letter?
    Thank you in advance. (BTW, is this phrase OK?)

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    Re: How do you do

    Quote Originally Posted by bordochka
    Hi all!
    The question is mainly to the native speakers. When writing a business letter to a person to whom I’m not introduced, is it necessary or acceptable (is it correct) to start with: How do you do? How would you start the letter?
    Thank you in advance. (BTW, is this phrase OK?)
    It isn't necessary and isn't considered appropriate in any business correspondence I've ever seen. I don't mean that it would be offensive, but it's just not normally done. It would seem odd.

    You just use a normal salutation (i.e. "Dear So-and-so") and that's all.

    PS - "Thanks (or 'thank you') in advance" is correct, but don't use it in a formal business letter.
    "Сейчас без языка нельзя... из тебя шапку сделают..."
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    Re: How do you do

    I use to start a letter with "Sir" and finish with "Best regards".

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    Re: How do you do

    Quote Originally Posted by bordochka
    Hi all!
    The question is mainly to the native speakers. When writing a business letter to a person to whom I’m not introduced, is it necessary or acceptable (is it correct) to start with: How do you do? How would you start the letter?
    Thank you in advance. (BTW, is this phrase OK?) Yes
    "How do you do?" a polite way of greeting someone in person, not in writing. Use "Dear Sir" or "Dear Madam."
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    Re: How do you do

    Quote Originally Posted by studyr
    I use to start a letter with "Sir" and finish with "Best regards".
    studyr, darling...are you living in a cave somewhere?

    I would take great offense at that! I was head of Human Resources and everytime I got a letter addressed SIR, it went right in the trash! I did not even look at it as I received so many letters per day, one like that.. forget it, it went bye-bye. Especially as my name was on the Web site.



    bordochka,

    If you can, see if the company you are writing to has an Internet site and try to find out if the name of the person you need to write the letter to is listed. If you can't or it is not listed... you can use, Dear “Hiring Manager” or “Recruiting Coordinator" or whatever deparment manager it is for or as a last resort “To Whom it May Concern:” (Notice the it is lower case). And in all cases followed by a ":"

    Never address your letter using “Dear Sirs” or “Gentlemen.” Always use the formal name of the person, along with their job title, in the address block, and use the appropriate form of address and last name in the salutation (Ms., Mr., Dr., Professor, etc.). Don’t use “Miss” or “Mrs.” unless you have received some type of correspondence from the person and can see in writing which form of address they prefer. Always use “Ms.” unless you are absolutely certain she prefers something else. http://www.coverlettercentral.com
    “Sincerely,” or “Very truly yours," is fine to close the letter.

    This site my help you as it comes from Purdue Univerity and has explanations and sample letters.
    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/653/01/

    Rockzmom
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    Re: How do you do

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Quote Originally Posted by studyr
    I use to start a letter with "Sir" and finish with "Best regards".
    studyr, darling...are you living in a cave somewhere?
    Sweetheart, how doest thou guess?

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    Re: How do you do

    Thank you very much! It was really helpful. Special thanks to rockzmom for the detailed answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Matroskin Kot
    PS - "Thanks (or 'thank you') in advance" is correct, but don't use it in a formal business letter.
    Why shouldn’t I use it in a formal business letter? Is it colloquial? What should be used instead?

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    Re: How do you do

    Quote Originally Posted by bordochka
    Why shouldn’t I use it in a formal business letter?
    The reason is the same as in Russian. No one writes "спасибо заранее" in business letters.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: How do you do

    Quote Originally Posted by bordochka
    Thank you very much! It was really helpful. Special thanks to rockzmom for the detailed answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Matroskin Kot
    PS - "Thanks (or 'thank you') in advance" is correct, but don't use it in a formal business letter.
    Why shouldn’t I use it in a formal business letter? Is it colloquial? What should be used instead?
    Well, by thanking them "in advance", you are assuming that the person is going to cooperate, which doesn't sound very "nice" in a business context. It's used informally on forums like this because it helps us economize bandwidth (i.e. you don't need another post to say 'thanks' afterward.) That's really the only appropriate place for this phrase, IMHO.

    Alternatives:
    If you want to sound "stronger", you could say something like, "I look forward to your reply," or, "Your attention to this matter will be appreciated." Both of which sound pretty demanding in the diplomatic speech typical of a business letter. Otherwise, you could just say nothing. Be polite. State your business, and be done. Thanks are not usually expected until some service is performed.

    That's my opinion, though. Others might feel differently.
    "Сейчас без языка нельзя... из тебя шапку сделают..."
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    Re: How do you do

    Quote Originally Posted by studyr
    I use to start...
    Странная конструкция, хм?
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    Re: How do you do

    Matroskin Kot, thank you for the explanation, maybe you are right. I’ve never thought about this in such an aspect, I always thank in advance, even in Russian , and I don’t mean to be “strong”, I don’t mean to force people to cooperate, I just want to show that IF a person decides to cooperate then I will be very grateful. Though, I don’t write “formal business letters”, only e-mail.

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