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Part I: Esperanto Grammar

Chapter 15: Writing Letters

The salutation of a letter usually ends with an exclamation point (less often, with a comma). The closing line, where we would write “yours sincerely,” is technically a sentence, with the signature as the subject (and often therefore a period after it). The simplest normal form is to write Salutas or Elkore salutas in the place where an English letter would put the “yours sincerely,” and then sign your name, adding a legible, printed version underneath. This is by far the most Esperanto form, although more English-like expressions are sometimes used.

la 22-an de aprilo, 2002

Kara Toĉjo! [informal]
or: Estimataj samideanoj! [formal]
or: Estimataj! [formal]

… [letter text] …

Elkore salutas [informal]
or: Samideane salutas [informal]
or: Salutas [formal]


Joĉjo. [informal]
or: John C. JONES. [formal]

Longer closings are a bit old fashioned, but fairly common, and you may feel free to add all the hearts and flowers you like:

… [letter goes here] …

Antaŭdankante vian valoran helpon, kaj esperante la baldaŭan resaniĝon de via ĉarma edzo, afable kaj samideane salutas via novjorka amikino




… [letter goes here] …

Thanking you in advance for your valuable help and hoping for the rapid recovery of your charming husband, I remain, affectionately and one in purpose, Your New York friend,



It is a curious, largely European tradition that one's signature can or even should be illegible. The result is that one gets occasional letters from unidentifiable correspondents. Whatever other people do, courtesy requires that your signature always be accompanied by a clearly legible transcription if there is any question at all about its legibility.

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