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 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 FriendCordialement (à vous)Sincerely (yours)Votre ami dévoué(e)Your devoted friendChaleureusementWith warm regardsBien amicalementIn friendshipAmitiésBest wishes, Your friendBien des choses à tousBest wishes to allBien à vous, Bien à toiBest wishesÀ bientôt!See you soon!Je t'embrasseLove / With loveBons baisersLots of loveBises!Hugs and kissesGrosses 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. The Closing Makes or Breaks Any French Business Letter Learn How to Use "Un Mec" in French Say Hello in French: "Bonjour," "Salut," "Bonsoir" and Cultural Tips Why Don't French People Hug? Is Spanish Really Easier Than French? How to Write a Business Letter in French How to Conjugate the French Verb Finir La Famille and French Family Vocabulary What Are the Meanings of the French Idiom "La Lune de Miel"? Goodbye in French - Au revoir, Salut, Bonne Soirée, Not Adieu Learn the Basics in French Politeness Avoir: Conjugation of This Major Irregular French Verb The Secrets to Writing Effective French Business Letters What Are Some Essential French Phrases for Everyday Use? The French Expression 'Ça Va' Is Commonly Used in Conversation How Do You Conjugate the Verb "Marcher" in French?