When using this popular sign-off for letters, emails, or other types of notes, the proper and grammatically correct use is ‘yours sincerely’. This is because the word ‘yours’ in this instance is referring to possession of something, and you cannot have one ‘your’ and possess it at the same time.
To learn more about the usage of this phrase, including the definition and etymology, continue reading further below.
What Does Yours Sincerely Mean?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of sincerely is “to behave or to be sincere means to do something or behave in a certain way with genuine authenticity of one’s true self.” In other words, to be sincere means to do something or behave in a certain way with genuine authenticity of one’s true self.
The word “yours” is used in the phrase “yours sincerely” as a mere form of address, and the word “sincerely” lends it the connotation of sincerity. Therefore, if you find that the close of letters, emails, small notes, or cards end with the phrase “yours sincerely,” that is because it is a common way to end written communication.
Etymology of ‘Yours Sincerely’
The word “sincerely” originated from the Latin word “sincera,” which was a term that was used by wax workers to describe something that was without flaw. Over the course of several centuries, the word’s meaning shifted to encompass concepts such as genuine, honesty, and truthfulness. ‘Yours sincerely’ evolved from the British English language into correspondence writing.
How to Format Letters to Use ‘Yours Sincerely’
Simply skipping a few lines from the previous sentence and then capitalizing each word of the sign-off phrase “yours sincerely” is all that is required to bring a letter to a close with the popular closing phrase. Please ensure that a comma is used after the word “sincerely,” and skip the next few lines before signing or typing your name.
Example Usage of ‘Yours Sincerely’
Using the proper formatting mentioned above, here are a few examples of how to use ‘yours sincerely’ within personal and business correspondence.
Business use example:
Dear Hiring Manager,
Thank you for your time in considering me for your open position. Please find my enclosed resume and CV per your previous request.
Casual Use Example:
Hope you have a great birthday, and I am sorry to have missed your party.