Grammar Regards, Best Regards, or Kind Regards: What Is the Best Usage for Each? |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Regards, Best Regards, or Kind Regards: What Is the Best Usage for Each?

Most of us have probably seen the word regards at the end of an e-mail or letter—or possibly a variation such as best regards or kind regards. But some people might not always be ready to explain what regards actually means or when the best time to use each version might be.

Today we’ll look further at the meaning of regards and its variations. We’ll also give you some tips for using each one.

What Are Your Regards?

Some sources suggest that regards and its alternatives have been with us since the early 1600s. Like sincerely, it’s a pleasant way to end a communication with a slight touch of formality.

Concerning its meaning, a good way to interpret regards would be “with the best wishes and respect.” That’s certainly a positive close to a note or an e-mail, yet it also doesn’t radiate warmth and emotion. It indicates the recipient is someone you know and respect without necessarily assuming that you are close friends or acquaintances.

For that reason, regards is a useful way to close a message if you wish to be respectful or, in some cases, professional, without indicating too much familiarity.

Are Best Regards or Kind Regards Better Options?

Given what we discussed right above, in some cases you might feel that best regards or possibly kind regards could be more proper for your communications. At the very least, they might add a dash of flair to the close of your letter or e-mail.

It all depends on the precision of thought you wish to convey. Specifically, best regards seems to imply you want the other person to have a more positive outcome for the future. After all, you’re sending them “the best.”

On the other hand, while outwardly a bit warmer, kind regards could come across as a tad less genuine. That could be because not all people use or have used the word kind in such a context. This might make the expression kind regards feel stilted for some.

So where does that leave you, the letter or e-mail writer, in terms of your options? Obviously, it’s all a matter of personal taste, but here are our recommendations:

When in doubt, stick with best regards to close an informal or semi-formal communication.

Using regards is fine, but it doesn’t indicate warmth for or differentiation of the recipient. This might be better for a professional communication or one that is more respectfully direct than familiar.

Use kind regards perhaps most sparingly unless the expression fits your personal style or the recipient’s personality.

Note also you have many other ways to end a more-personal letter or e-mail, such as sincerely, yours truly, with love, see you soon, or simply cheers!

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