Languages › French Writing Informal Letters in French Correct greetings and closings are key Share Flipboard Email Print Lucy Lambriex/Getty Images French Grammar Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Resources For Teachers By ThoughtCo Team Updated January 31, 2019 Writing letters in French can be somewhat tricky because they require particular opening and closing conventions. Following some basic rules of French etiquette and grammar will help you find the correct expressions to use when writing to family, friends, or acquaintances. Following Conventions For personal correspondence, there are two important conventions in French letters: greetings and closings. The expressions you use depend on your relationship with the person you are writing to, particularly whether you know her personally. Also, consider whether to use tu or vous—tu is the familiar "you," while vous is the formal greeting for "you" in French. Remember that these French expressions do not always translate well into English. These are usable equivalents, rather than literal translations. Following are possible greetings and closings you can use, depending on whether you know the person. Greetings You can use these greetings either by themselves or with the salutation followed by the person's name. The greeting in French is listed on the left, while the English translation is on the right. French greetings can be particularly tricky. For example, the French title Mademoiselle—literally "my young lady"—has long been used to distinguish between women, whether due to their age or marital status. Shopkeepers and bank clerks always greet female customers with a polite Bonjour, Mademoiselle or Bonjour, Madame. But in a letter, you have to assess the woman's age in order to choose the correct term, and that can prove challenging. You Do Not Know the Person MonsieurMonsieur xxx SirMr. xxx MadameMadame xxx Mrs. xxx MademoiselleMademoiselle xxx MissMiss xxx Messieurs Sirs You Do Know the Person Cher MonsieurCher Monsieur xxx Dear SirDear Mr. xxx Chère MadameChère Madame xxx Dear Mrs. xxx Chère MademoiselleChère Mademoiselle xxx Dear MissDear Miss xxx Chers amis Dear friends Chers Luc et Anne Dear Luc and Anne Chers grandsparents Dear Grandparents Mon cher Paul My dear Paul Mes chers amis My dear friends Ma très chère Lise My dearest Lise Closings Closings in French letters can also be tricky, even in personal missives. To help you craft your closing correctly, the following chart uses the same conventions as the previous one: The closing is listed in French on the left, while the translation is on the right. To an Acquaintance Je vous envoie mes bien amicales pensées Best wishes Recevez, je vous prie, mes meilleures amitiés Yours sincerely Je vous adresse mon très amical souvenir Kindest regards To a Friend Cordialement (à vous) Sincerely (yours) Votre ami dévoué(e) Your devoted friend Chaleureusement With warm regards Bien amicalement In friendship Amitiés Best wishes, Your friend Bien des choses à tous Best wishes to all Bien à vous, Bien à toi Best wishes À bientôt! See you soon! Je t'embrasse Love / With love Bons baisers Lots of love Bises! Hugs and kisses Grosses bises! Lots of hugs and kisses Considerations These latter expressions—such as "Bons baisers (Lots of love) and Bises! (Hugs and kisses)—might seem too informal in English. But, such closings are not necessarily romantic in French; you can use them with friends of the same or opposite sex. Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Team, ThoughtCo. "Writing Informal Letters in French." ThoughtCo, Sep. 2, 2021, thoughtco.com/writing-personal-letters-in-french-4058120. Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, September 2). Writing Informal Letters in French. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/writing-personal-letters-in-french-4058120 Team, ThoughtCo. "Writing Informal Letters in French." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/writing-personal-letters-in-french-4058120 (accessed October 16, 2021). copy citation How to Use the French Expression Ça Va in Conversation French Words for Kisses Writing a Business Letter in French "Bon Anniversaire": Saying Happy Birthday in French The Top 10 French Gestures How to Introduce Yourself and Others in French Elements of a Good French Business Letter Learn How to Use "Un Mec" in French Do You Know the Difference between 'Bienvenu' and 'Bienvenue?' The French Expression "Meilleurs Vœux" How Is 'O' Pronounced in French? French Possession How Is the Letter 'A' Pronounced in French? How to Pronounce the Letter 'I' in French How to Pronounce More Than 2,500 Words in French The Flaws in "Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi Ce Soir?"