To finish up a letter addressed to a client, I use Best Regards, followed by my signature.

I've looked around for a direct translation, and came up with:

│ Location                       │  Source used       │  Translation obtained          │
│ 1) http://dict.leo.org         │  best regards      │  mit besten Grüßen             │
│ 2) http://translate.google.pt  │  best regards      │  beste Grüße                   │
│ 3) http://answers.yahoo.com    │  best regards      │  mit freundlichen Grüßen       │

1. Link to translation result at http://dict.leo.org

2. Link to translation result at http://translate.google.pt

3. Link to translation result at http://answers.yahoo.com

I'm wondering which one of these direct translations is actually accurate, to be used when finishing up a letter addressed to a client?

  • 1
    'Best regards' is actually a direct translation of the German beste Grüße - in English we would say "best wishes" or, more formally "kind regards".
    – user3353
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 10:10
  • Plural Grüße is common, but some use Gruß if both addressee and sender are single individuals and don’t represent groups or institutions. Decades ago, it used to be common to end letters with a complete sentence that ended in something like … und so verbleibe ich mit besten Grüßen <new line> Dein lieber Fritz or Ich sende Ihnen und Ihrer Frau meine besten Grüße <NL> Ihr Fräulein Inge. All variants you list are remnants thereof. Most people don’t ever consider anything else than standard SgDuH to open and MfG to close a formal letter or email. Justified deviation can be good.
    – Crissov
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 11:23

7 Answers 7


All three options are very common. In my opinion the most used (and maybe just a tick more formal than the other two) is

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

From a translator's point of view the most accurate of Best wishes is

Beste Grüße


Here's a Google Ngram graph which shows that Mit besten Grüßen was always and is still used in German:

beste Grüße vs. freundliche Grüße

  • You could also use "Mit freundlichem Gruß" because in most cases you are only one person…
    – feeela
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:57
  • 6
    @eeela: What's the person's singularity to do with the Grüße? Even a single person could send multiple Grüße. ("Liebe Hörer an den Radiogeräten und Radiogerätinnen!")
    – sbi
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 11:32
  • Also fine: "Freundliche Grüße"
    – mthomas
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 23:35

To me (a German native speaker) "beste Grüße" and "mit besten Grüßen" sounds like a poor word-by-word-translation of an English phrase.

In German there are no "gute Grüße", so why should there be "bessere Grüße" or "beste Grüße"?

In the German language you don't greet well, better or best. You just greet friendly:

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

  • youtube.com/watch?v=3PLLqbna7Cs
    – Cocopuffs
    Commented Aug 18, 2012 at 17:36
  • Deiner Argumentation stimme ich nicht zu, aber der Kernaussage pflichte ich bei. Beste Grüße klingt für mich absolut fremd.
    – Em1
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 8:12
  • 1
    Man kann sicher streiten, ob „mit besten Grüßen“ oder „mit den besten Grüßen“ vorzuziehen ist, aber ich kann darin keinen Anglizismus sehen.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 23:10
  • @CarstenSchultz: (Ich lese deinen Kommentar leider erst jetzt.) Ich habe auch nicht behauptet, dass es ein Anglizismus wäre. Das wäre auch falsch, denn es kommen darin ja gar keine englischen Wörter vor. Aber es klingt für mich wie eine schlechte wörtliche Übersetzung aus dem Englischen. Commented May 30, 2015 at 12:16
  • But this is a farewell, not a greeting. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 11:00

It is important to notice that the phrase mit freundlichen Grüßen (sometimes even abbreviated as MfG) is so standard in business correspondence that it might give the receiver of your letter the feeling that you don't care enough about the letter to think about a better finishing for your letter. If you want to convey a personal attitude you might try something contextual such as:

  • mit sommerlichen Grüßen
  • mit weihnachtlichen Grüßen
  • ein schönes Wochenende


  • 1
    On the other hand one clearly notices that the sender is trying to get special attention, basically even begging for attention, when he is using a phrase like "mit den besten Grüßen aus dem sonnigen Hamburg". I don't like that. =)
    – Jan.
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 14:18

"Mit freundlichen Grüßen" is the most formal and equivalent to "Sincerely" in English.

"Mit besten Grüßen" and "Beste Grüße" sounds strange to my native German ear. I have never in my life recieved a letter ending with those words, though I have used it myself. I have no idea where I picked it up.

Anything with "regards" in it feels less than strictly formal to me. I would use "Herzliche Grüße" to translate it, which is of medium formality between "Mit freundlichen Grüßen" (formal) and "Liebe Grüße" (familiar). (Those, by the way, are the three common ways to finish a letter, everything else is creative freedom.)


In a formal context, I ALWAYS end my letters with:

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

To me, this isn't really the same as "Best Regards," as that doesn't seem to do the formality of this form justice

In a personal/casual context, I end my letters with one of the following:

Liebe Grüße,

Based on my experience, this is the closest thing to "Best Regards,"*


Abbreviated form of previous. I use this most often.


Probably the most concise way to end an informal letter.

It's worth noting that the casual forms are acceptable in an office environment where you are addressing your colleagues with "du."

  • 1
    There is no comma after „Mit freundlichen Grüßen“.
    – user9551
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 20:41
  • 1
    @Loong: Interesting. I never realized that before. Is that true just for "Mit freundlichen Grüßen" or does it apply to all other forms as well?
    – Avian00
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 8:09
  • It seems to apply to all<ref>din-5008-richtlinien.de/grussformel.php </ref> Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 4:33

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

is the common and formal way to end a letter in Germany. You could also use

Viele Grüße

or from time to time

Viele Grüße aus [put your city in here]

for a less formal ending. I would not use

Liebe Grüße

(LG) for a client letter, but for a letter to a friend.

  • Even though it doesn't really answer the question (concerning the translation of "best regards"), it states precisely which greetings I consider adequate for which purpose. Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 15:45

The sense of "best regards" is well-conveyed by the "traditional" closing, "Hochachtungsvoll," literally "full of high attention."

  • 5
    "Hochachtungsvoll" ist im Deutschen m.E. extrem antiquiert. Wenn der Schreiber über 60 Jahre alt ist, würde ich das als Adressat vielleicht noch ok finden - andernfalls hätte ich das Gefühl, es ist witzig oder ironisch gemeint. [Und: je nachdem, was man unter "wörtlicher" Übersetzung versteht, wäre vielleicht "respectfully" hier angebrachter - die "Achtung" in "Hochachtung" hat mit "attention" nicht viel zu tun, eher mit "regard" oder eben "respect".
    – Mac
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 9:54
  • I also see "Hochachtungsvoll" as outdated; it is very formal and often used ironically, e.g. for dismissals (see de.wikipedia.org/wiki/…).
    – mthomas
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 23:34
  • @Mac: Ich bin FAST 60 Jahre alt.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 23:43
  • @TomAu: Oooops :)
    – Mac
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 7:39

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