Languages › French Here's How You Close a French Business Letter Correctly In French commercial correspondence, the more polite you are, the better Share Flipboard Email Print The sign off in a French business letter is extremely important. Sasha Bell/Getty Images French Vocabulary Pronunciation & Conversation Grammar Resources For Teachers By Laura K. Lawless Updated April 30, 2019 In French business letters, called correspondance commerciale, it's best to be as polite and formal as possible. This means you will choose a complimentary close that sounds professional, that is polite and formal, and one that suits the subject at hand — whether, for instance, it's a business transaction or a job-related letter. These qualities should hold true for the entire letter, from top to bottom. French Business Letter FormatThe date of writingThe address of the recipientThe salutation, or greetingThe body of the letter, always written in the more formal plural you (vous)A polite pre-close (optional)The close and the signatureIf the writer is writing on his or her own behalf, then the letter can be written in the first person singular (je). If the writer is composing the letter on behalf of a company, everything should be expressed in the first person plural (nous). Of course, verb conjugations should match the pronoun that's used. Whether a woman or man is writing, the adjectives should agree in gender and number. The Pre-CloseAfter the body of the letter, you can insert a pre-close phrase, which adds a further note of formality to the close. A pre-close would launch your closing sentence with a dependent clause something like this: "En vous remerciant de la confiance que vous me témoignez, je..." What follows is the correct close for your circumstances from the list below. The CloseThe French close a business letter with a full sentence that ends in a period. There is no precise equivalent in English-language business letters, which would typically end with "Sincerely" or some variation, such as "Respectfully yours" (very formal), "Yours (very) truly" (formal), to "Cordially" or "With Warm Regards" (almost casual). In the UK, the formal option might be "Yours faithfully."The French close can sound a little grandiose to English speakers. But avoid this French formula and you risk offending your French recipient. So take care to learn the formula. Look at the Close Options in the table below the salutations. After the verb or verb phrase, there is room for an expression between two commas. This should include the same words you used in the salutation.Typical French SalutationsMonsieur, MadameTo whom it may concernMessieursDear SirsMonsieurDear SirMadameDear MadamMademoiselleDear MissMonsieur le DirecteurDear DirectorMonsieur le MinistreDear MinisterMonsieur/Madame le* Professeur Dear ProfessorCher/Chère + salutationUsed only if you know the person that you are writing toFrench Close OptionsThese comprise the closing formula. Choose from the options, which are listed from most formal to least formal. You must choose an option from Columns A and C. Column B is optional. Leaving it out will make the formula less formal. If you leave it out, you must drop the à at the end of some Column A phrases. Column AColumn BColumn CNotesJe vous prie d'agréer, ..., Je vous prie d'accepter, ...,Je vous prie de croire, ..., à Veuillez agréer, ...,Veuillez croire, ..., àAgréez, ...., Croyez, ..., àl'assurance del'expression de ma considération distinguée. mes salutations distinguées. mes sentiments distingués.1mes sentiments respectueux.1mes sentiments dévoués.1mes sincères salutations. mes respectueux hommages.2mes cordiales salutations. mes sentiments les meilleurs.1mon meilleur souvenir.3Je vous adresse, ...,(skip)mon bon souvenir.3Recevez, ...,(skip)mon fidèle souvenir.3 Column C NotesA man should never use "sentiments" when writing to a woman.This should only be used by a man writing to a woman.These are quite informal. Use them carefully. Compare these to what you would use in personal correspondence.Sample Pre-Close and Close"En vous remerciant de la confiance que vous me témoignez (pre-close), je vous prie d'agréer, Monsieur Untel, l'assurance de ma considération distinguée (close)."Note that "Monsieur Untel" is exactly the same as the salutation (greeting) at the top of the sample French business letter.