Regards, Best Regards, In Regard To—How to Use Them

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Should you write regards to close your next letter or email? What does it mean to send your regards, anyway?

When to End a Letter with “Regards”

Historically, with best regards and with kindest regards have been used as a letter closing—a.k.a. a valediction. In decades past, regards implied not only esteem but also affection; today it sits somewhat higher on the spectrum of formality. While sending regards might have once been reserved for close friends and family, the tone it currently implies makes it well suited for informal correspondence, whether business or personal. A good definition for best regards, for example, would be a comparatively neutral “with my best wishes and esteem.”

Suitable Ways to End a Letter

Formal: Yours faithfully Formal (business): Yours sincerely; Sincerely Semi-formal: With best regards; With kindest regards; Warmest regards Informal: Regards; Kind regards; Best regards Personal: Yours truly; Cheers; Love

Using regards in a letter closing suggests that you have respect for the recipient, but not necessarily a close relationship with him or her. Because it is less formal than yours faithfully or sincerely, expressions with regards are perfect in emails, which tend to be less formal than letters anyway.

The more informal style for an email would be simply Regards. It can work for emails to people you work with regularly, but you might also want to consider that if you correspond with someone very frequently, no closing may be required at all.

Using “In Regard To” in a Sentence

The phrases in regard to and with regard to are identical in meaning to concerning. These expressions are used often in business correspondence to identify matters at hand. As regards is also frequently used in this way.

We have noticed a discrepancy in regard to your bill.

I have a question with regard to your position on taxation.

As regards sustainability, we use only recycled paper in our products.

Because as regards and in regard to/with regard to are closely related, a common error is to write in regards to (with an s) or with regards to. There is no need to make regard plural in either of these phrases.

Please let me know what your preference is with regards to the payment schedule.

Please let me know what your preference is with regard to the payment schedule.

The client asks that you give her monthly reports in regards to the status of her investments.

The client asks that you give her monthly reports in regard to the status of her investments.

It is worth remembering that some people consider with regard to and in regard to unnecessary business speak, and that ninety percent of the time, they could be simply and cleanly reduced to about or concerning.

Please let me know what your preference is concerning the payment schedule.

The client asks that you give her monthly reports about the status of her investments.

Using “Regarding” and “Regard” in a Sentence

The preposition regarding can also be used in the sense of concerning or with respect to.

The doctor called this morning regarding your test results.

Has the travel agent given you any more information regarding your proposed trip to Malta?

As a noun, regard can mean “consideration”:

Jane has no regard for the safety of her employees.

Or “esteem”:

The software development team holds their supervisor in high regard.

As a verb, to regard means “to consider or think about something in a particular way”:

The law regards child endangerment as a very serious crime indeed.

Or “to observe” (although this usage is archaic):

Alas, Dante could regard the object of his affection only from a distance.

“Regards,” “Best Regards,” and “In Regard” in Summary

Regards, Best regards, and Kind regards are good email sign-offs.

Remember that concerning and about can work just as well as, and more concisely than, in regard to and with regard to. The phrases in regards to and with regards to are never correct, and you might garner criticism if you use them.

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