Which is the correct way to address multiple recipients in email? I am not the manager of recipents but the receipents are combination of either both being managers (not necessarily my manager of my department) or one is manager and another is peer.

Hi John and Mary,

Email messages goes here


Hi John/Mary,

Email message goes here

Are both mentions appropritate in all situations? Can this offend anyone (especially the manager cader?). Doe it sound any bossy? I am asking this particular question that one of the managers gave feedback that my emails sound bossy since I did not get exact information of the instance I am self analysing my recent communications and I recently emailed using "and" instead of "/". My objective was only to be clear that I am expecting attention of both, not only one.

2 Answers 2


"Hi John and Mary" is more polite than "John/Mary" but that is probably not the source of the feedback that your emails are bossy. It might have more to do with how you phrase your requests, especially to other managers and peers.

"Hi John/Mary, I haven't received your comments yet on the report. Please get your comments to me by the end of the day. Thank you." = sounds bossy.

"Hi John and Mary, just a reminder that the report is due tomorrow and I need to include everyone's comments - will you be able to get your comments to me by the end of the day? Thanks so much!" = sounds nicer.

Be careful about ending sentences with periods in your emails. For some reason, many people (especially younger people who grew up texting) will think you are angry.


In casual intra-office emails it is fine to write the greeting as John/Mary. It doesn't make it bossy. Writing with "and" is probably better as that marginally more polite.

It would not be appropriate for external emails to a client. In that case you should write as if it was a paper letter "Dear Mr Smith and Ms Jones,".

Any perceived business must be in the body of the email. Probably a lack of tactful writing, "Do X please" instead of "I wonder if you have the time to do X"

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