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I want to write an email to 2 persons. Shall I say:

Dear Person1 and Person2,

Or

Dear Person1, Person2,

  • Who do you want to action this e-mail? Both recipients? Neither? Unless it's an announcement, such e-mails (and letters) can lead to confusion and are best avoided. – Mick Nov 11 '16 at 14:07
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    If you are writing to a couple, then Dear Janet and John is definitely the way to go. If you are writing a business email, you should probably either write individual emails to each person, or address to one and cc the other. – JavaLatte Nov 11 '16 at 14:21
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Note that, in all cases here, it is assumed that you want to address both equally. Keeping that in mind, I would say that your first sentence is the better choice, unless:

The persons share a surname: for example, if you are writing to a married couple you may wish to address them as:

Mr and Mrs Smith
Mr and Mrs J Smith
Mr and Mrs John Smith

Note that, when including a forename, it is generally the name of the husband that is used. In the case of a same-sex marriage or partnership, you might include both forenames, or the initials of each person:

Mr J and Mr A Smith
Mr John and Mr Alan Smith

Ms J and Ms E Smith
Ms Joan and Ms Elaine Smith

There are more than two persons addressed: in which case, you should not use "and" between each name. Rather, you should use a comma between each name but the last. If you want to, you might include the Oxford comma on the second-last name:

Mr J Smith, Mrs N Jones and Mr A Cartwright (no Oxford comma)
Mr J Smith, Mrs N Jones, and Mr A Cartwright (with Oxford comma)


There is also a (slightly archaic) way of addressing two or more men. You wouldn't use this in general day-to-day writings, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's still used in some formal settings:

Messrs Smith and Cartwright
Messrs J Smith and A Cartwright
Messrs John Smith and Alan Cartwright


Another thing you will want to consider is whether you are using the correct salutation, as this can affect how you address someone. If you use "dear," you would generally not include the forename of the addressee.

  • Thanks LMS for respond. What if I am writing to 2 of my colleagues asking them to do something for me? Shall I say Dear Anna and Per then? I want to address both of them. – Ashkan Sirous Nov 11 '16 at 15:53
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    That would depend on the context. If it's just a normal work email (not anything formal), you're addressing both equally, and neither is your superior, I would address them as "Anna and Per" (without salutation). If you were speaking only to Anna but CC'd Per, you would only address Anna. If you're talking to your superiors, you could address them in the same way. A lot of it depends on context. – LMS Nov 11 '16 at 15:59

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