Language learning

How to Sign off an Email in French

Muireann ClarkeApril 5, 2019

Communicating in a foreign language is an exciting time to show off your skills. However, it can also be quite daunting when in unfamiliar territory such as signing off an email in French. To help ease your panic, we have compiled a list of formal and informal closings for your email in French.

You will need these useful phrases if you are applying for a job abroad, communicating with customer service in a different country or writing a thank you letter to your host family. How you sign off an email in French depends on how well you know the person to whom you're writing, the purpose of the letter, and the degree of formality.

Knowing how to sign off an email in French signals your familiarity with the language and with the culture. As you know from our article on how to say thank you in different languages, exercising the right etiquette to someone from a different country is very important. Appropriately signing off an email in French shows respect to the recipient and leaves them with a positive impression of you. Let’s take a look at some of these closings now!

Your language learning journey will require some helpful tools and resources to gain fluency. That is why Tandem is here to help! With the Tandem app, we connect language learners to native speakers to help them speak any language, anywhere.

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Dans l'attente de votre réponse (formal)

Meaning “I look forward to hearing from you,” include this if you want to indicate that you're waiting for an answer. This can also be shortened to “Dans l'attente” for semi-formal correspondence.

Veuillez recevoir, Monsieur/Madame, mes salutations distinguées (formal)

Literally meaning “please accept, Madam / Sir, my best regards” in English, this is used for general business or formal emails. This phrase is similar to "yours sincerely" in English.

Je vous prie d'agréer ma considération distinguée (formal)

The literal translation in Engish would be “please accept my distinguished consideration,” however, there is no direct English equivalent of it. This sounds much more formal than the etiquette in English, however, it is commonplace in the French language.

Veuillez agréer l'expression de mes sentiments respectueux (formal)

This phrase is used when the recipient’s name is unknown. It is the equivalent of “yours faithfully” in English.

Cordialement (formal/semi-formal)

The English translation would be equivalent to “kind regards.” You can also add “bien” or “très” in front of it if you need a stronger closing.

“Cordialement” can also be used alone for semi-formal business emails, which is becoming increasingly more common. However, if you are unsure, it is best to use one of the longer, more formal closings above, just to be on the safe side.

Respectueusement (formal/semi-formal)

Meaning “respectfully,“ this also has the same purpose as “cordialement.”

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Amitiés (informal)

Meaning “best wishes” or “all the best” in English, this can be used regardless of the closeness of the relationship.

Je vous adresse mon très amical souvenir (informal)

Meaning “kindest regards” in English, this closing is appropriate with an acquaintance.

Amicalement (informal)

Meaning “kindly” or “best wishes” in English. This closing is appropriate for emails to acquaintances and friends who are older. Adding “bien” in front of it (bien amicalement) translates it to mean “in friendship” in English.

Chaleureusement (informal)

“Warmly” or “with warm regards” is a common way to sign off an email between friends.

A bientôt / à plus tard (informal)

Both have the same meaning as “see you soon” in English. “À plus tard” is commonly shortened to “A+” and is mostly used between friends.

Je vous envoie mes amicales pensées (informal)

This is a lengthier way of saying “best wishes” in English. Literally meaning “I send you my friendly thoughts,” this phrase is most appropriate between family and friends.

Now you’re all set to finally finish that email that you have been putting off 😉. If you don’t know which closing is most appropriate, it's usually best to err on the side of caution and use the more formal option. No one will ever be offended by excessive formality!

Understanding written etiquette, especially when signing off an email in French, is important to avoid any unintentional offense. With the Tandem app, you gain fluency in French by speaking with native speakers, while also increasing your familiarity with French etiquette and culture. If you need some help with the rest of your email in French, ask your Tandem partner for some tips!

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