Reply to comment about "Making letters and emails gender-inclusive"


Please consult the “Comments and interaction” section on the Terms and conditions page before adding your comment. The Language Portal of Canada reviews comments before they’re posted. We reserve the right to edit, refuse or remove any question or comment that violates these commenting guidelines.

By submitting a comment, you permanently waive your moral rights, which means that you give the Government of Canada permission to use, reproduce, edit and share your comment royalty-free, in whole or in part, in any manner it chooses. You also confirm that nothing in your comment infringes third party rights (for example, the use of a text from a third party without his or her permission).

Submitted by Our Languages blog on July 12, 2021, at 16:27

In a salutation, if you know the person well, you can use the person’s first name:
Dear Pat,
In gender-inclusive writing, if you don’t know the person, you can use their first name or initials, followed by their last name. Here are some examples taken from our recommendation on gender-inclusive writing in correspondence (
Dear P. T. Smith:
Dear Amrita Kumar:
In a salutation, you wouldn’t use a pronoun (for example “them”), because you are addressing the person directly.
We hope this answers your question.