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How does one respectfully sign off semi-formal (e.g. business) emails without going for the full blown “Veuillez agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l'expression de mes sentiments distingués.” etc.?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 13 down vote accepted

In business or university context, I tend to use:

Cordialement,

Moreover, if I am thankful and want to convey this stronger feeling, I use:

Bien cordialement,

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I would complete by saying "Bien cordialement", is generally reservated for more formal discussions. (Student, teacher...) –  Zenklys Aug 17 '11 at 21:16
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To add on Zenlys comment: when the student writes to the teacher, he can write "Bien cordialement à vous". It formal and respectful, but not too much. –  Sylvain Peyronnet Aug 17 '11 at 22:20

Taking the first few mails in my inbox, we have:

Bonne journée,

Bonne fin de semaine,

Cordialement,

Quite often, nothing.

But mostly, as this is the one included in the official company signature:

Meilleures salutations,

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Define good for salutations !? (It sounds contrived to me.) –  Nikana Reklawyks Nov 19 '12 at 18:39

I often use:

Bien à vous

or:

Bien à toi

which is closer to Yours truly I guess.

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I personally use Bien à vous too when I write an email in French –  user22 Aug 17 '11 at 21:06
    
I find bien à toi disturbingly direct at the same time as formal. I'd reserve it to very close people, if to use it at all. –  Nikana Reklawyks Nov 19 '12 at 18:36

I often use the adverb for cordial:

Cordialement,
<Here my email signature>

For an “almost friend but not really friend”, I use something similar to kindly:

Amicalement,
<Here my email signature>

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