You type an email for the first time to an important person and you want to know how you should sign off on that email in an appropriate way. How should you do it?
You want to conclude the email with “bests” followed by your name. But is it correct?
Bests or Best
Can you say bests or best when closing an email?
The truth is that bests is not a correct word.
We can say best, as in, “best regards.” We can’t say “bests regards.”
When signing off the email with best, we can say:
- All The Best (friendly, less formal)
- Best Regards (formal)
- Best Wishes (formal)
- Best (informal)
Best may be seen as too impersonal and flippant for formal emails. Think carefully about who you are sending the email to before you conclude with best.
Bests is the third-person present for the verb “best.”
The verb “best” means to outwit or outdo someone. You do better than the others.
- She bests the competitors in the chess game.
- They were bested (beaten) by the other athletes in the race.
- Johnny bests his friend in the video game.
Bests is not correct in emails but may have been used when email and texting first started years ago. It is no longer in fashion, and I would recommend avoiding this term.
However, there may still be a regional or personal preference for using bests, but most English speakers do not use or even know this term for signing off emails.
Your safest bet is to avoid the word bests altogether when signing off in an email.
Best of the Best
If you want to talk about the absolute greatest or best, you might say “the best of the best.”
“The best of the best” is an idiomatic expression. If the good or service is of the highest quality or if someone is an expert in their field, we might call them “the best of the best.”
- The lawyers were highly-trained and the best of the best in the city of Dublin.
- The seafood in this Michelin star restaurant is the best of the best.
Other Ways to Close an Email
There are many ways to close an email. Here are some other ways we can close an email without relying too heavily on “best.”
- Regards (formal)
We might end an email with “regards,” “kind regards,” “warm regards,” or “best regards.” “Regards” is one of the most common ways to end an email.
“Best regards” and “kind regards” are more formal.
You might want to use “warm regards” when talking to friends or family. Usually, you do not end a business email with “warm regards” unless you have met the people before and know them socially.
- Sincerely (formal)
“Sincerely” or “yours sincerely” is commonly used when the author of the email knows the recipient’s name.
This should be reserved for very formal emails, such as job applications and formal business correspondence.
- Yours Faithfully (formal)
Just like “yours sincerely,” “yours faithfully” is very formal and may be used for job applications or formal business correspondence.
It is used in emails and letters when the recipient is not known.
- Cheers (informal)
If you know the person very well, you might end the email with “cheers.”
This is very informal and more commonly used in Britain or Australia.
“Cheers” may be said when making a toast at dinner. It is a way of wishing others good times. It also makes a friendly way to sign off an email.
- As ever/ as always (informal)
To show your wish that communications continue as they always have, sign off with “as ever” or “as always.”
It’s a reassuring way to end an email by saying that everything is good and there is nothing to worry about.
- Thanks/ Thanks in advance
“Thanks” and “thanks in advance” express gratitude for something or can be used when you expect someone to do something for you.
This may come off as demanding, so be careful when using it formally.
- I appreciate your input/help/feedback
If you write “I appreciate your input” or “I appreciate your feedback,” you are expressing gratitude for the email receiver helping you out in some way.
Find more ways to end an email here.
Can you say “the best of the bests?”
No, we cannot say “the best of the bests.” The idiomatic expression is “the best of the best.”
Is best an appropriate sign-off?
Yes, best is an appropriate sign-off when communicating with colleagues, but it may be too impersonal for formal emails. If you want to keep the email formal, you could say “Best regards.”
Is “all the best” a good sign off?
“All the best” is a pleasant, friendly way to sign off an email. It is warm yet formal enough to send in an email. Maybe you have met the recipient before and you are wishing them the best of luck.
Bests is the third person singular present indicative of the verb “best,” meaning to defeat or surpass someone or something. It is not used as a sign-off.
When in doubt, it is always safest to err on the side of formality.
There are many ways to conclude an email, such as “regards,” “kind regards,” “warm regards,” “best regards,” “sincerely,” “yours sincerely,” “yours faithfully,” “cheers,” “as ever,” “as always,” “thanks,” and “thanks in advance.”
You can also express gratitude by saying “I appreciate your input” or “I appreciate your feedback.” Choose the sign-off that is appropriate for the email’s purpose and the relationship between the sender and receiver.
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.