Posted by: Jack Henry | January 24, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Commas and Salutations!

Every now and then I receive an email complaining about people forgetting commas in salutations or asking if a comma is needed at all in a salutation. Here are some general rules when sending a letter or email.

Formal Correspondence

When you are writing a cover letter, an email, or something else you would consider formal to clients, you stick with a straightforward greeting and a colon. Some examples:

  • Dear Mr. Sandbottom:
  • To Whom It May Concern:
  • To Ms. Colette Browning:

Less Formal Correspondence

Most other items fall in this category. Generally, you use a greeting, a comma, and then whatever ending punctuation seems most appropriate. For example:

  • Hello, Monica.
  • Happy Birthday, Brian!
  • Hi, Sandy,
  • Good Morning, Fuzzy!
  • Can’t wait to see you tomorrow, brother!
  • Hey there, Donna,

I hope this helps!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services


  1. […] […]

  2. […] This rule does not apply when you use the word “Dear” in your salutation. For more rules on punctuation in salutations, read this previous Editor’s Corner article. […]

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