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Common Formulas for Beginning and Ending Spanish Letters

written by: Audrey Alleyne • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 1/5/2012

Writing letters in Spanish is a great exercise for improving the communicative skills of Spanish students. This article teaches students the distinct differences in Spanish for beginning and ending letters.

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    Learning to write letters in Spanish provides the Spanish student with an opportunity to perfect his or her communicative skills in the language. The benefits of this exercise will be greatly appreciated when the student enters the business world and needs to contact other Spanish speakers through trade or cultural exchange or if he or she becomes a member of an International Organization.

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    Formal vs. Informal

    In Spanish, like in English, there are formal and informal letters. The student will, however, find that the greetings or salutations and endings of Spanish letters are very exaggerated and full of embellishments compared to their English counterparts. How do we begin and end a formal letter in Spanish? Here are some common formulas for greetings followed by first lines for beginning letters.

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    Beginning a Letter (Formal)

    Greetings

    • Señor = Sir
    • Señora= Madam
    • Señorita= Miss
    • Muy señor mío= Dear Sir
    • Muy señores míos =Gentlemen

    The following, which all translate to “Dear Sir” or “Dear Sirs” respectively, express slightly higher degrees of respect:

    • Estimado señor
    • Muy distinguido señor
    • Muy señor nuestro
    • Muy señores nuestros

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    Opening Lines

    The opening lines of your letter can now take one of the following forms:

    • Tengo el gusto de acusar recibo de su carta...
    • I am glad to acknowledge receipt of your letter...

    • Le agradezco su estimable carta del 4 de julio...
    • I thank you for your letter of July 4th...
    • En respuesta a su amble carta del 22 de mayo...
    • In answer to your letter of May 22nd...

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    Closing Lines

    The closing lines of the formal letters can take the following forms:

    • Esperando su respuesta tan pronto como posible...
    • Hoping to hear from you at your earliest convenience...
    • Agradeciéndole por anticipado, saludo a Ud. atentamente...
    • Thanking you in advance, I am...
    • Pendiente de su respuesta...
    • Awaiting your reply...
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    Endings

    The actual ending of the formal letter in Spanish is not as flowery but still expressive of great courtesy and respect. You can simply write:

    • Sinceramente = Sincerely yours
    • Muy atentamente = Very sincerely yours
    • Muy cordialmente = Cordially yours

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    Greetings (Informal or Social)

    Now, let’s talk about informal letters. Here are some common formulas for beginning informal letters:

    • Querido amigo = Dear friend
    • Mi querida Ana = Dear Ana
    • Querida mía = My dear, My beloved
    • Queridísimos amigos = Dear friends

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    Opening Lines

    • Las felicitaciones sinceras de mi parte por...
    • My sincere congratulations for...

    • Quiero expresarte mi sincero agradecimiento por...
    • I want to Express my sincere thanks for...

    • Quiero expresarte mi más sentido pesame...
    • I want to express my deepest sympathy...

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    Closing Lines

    How do we close the informal letter? We can use:

    • Favor de escribirme pronto...
    • Please write me soon...

    • Te espera ansiosamente...
    • Eagerly/Anxiously awaiting your reply...

    • Saludame a tu familia...
    • My regards to your family...

    .

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    Endings

    • Cariñosamente = Affectionately yours
    • Besos y abrazos =With love, (or literally,) Kisses and hugs
    • De todo Corazón = With love
    • De quien te adora = With love
    • Con mucho cariño = With much affection

    There are some additional websites where you can learn more expressions for beginning and ending letters other than those I have listed here. However, these should go a long way.

References

  • http://spanish.about.com/od/writtenspanish/a/correspondence.htm
  • http://learning-spanish.suite101.com/article.cfm/spanish_salutations