At the end of an email, there are several phrases you might see: “Yours Truly”, “From”, “Lot’s of love”. But one that can raise a few eyebrows is “V/R”. Today, I want to look at what “V/R” means when it’s at the bottom of an email when you should or shouldn’t use it, where it’s most common, and what other ways you can send an email.
What does “V/R” mean at the end on an email?
“V/R” stands for “very respectfully”. However, because it’s an abbreviation, there is some debate around how respectful you’re actually being when you send an email with “V/R”.
It’s another way of saying “Yours Truly”.
When to end an email with “V/R”
There are times when it’s absolutely fine to send an email with “V/R”.
If the person you’re talking to is a slight acquaintance, there is no need to be overly formal. Because you’re not trying extremely hard to impress them, but you still don’t want to be rude.
When you’re organising an official event with friends, “V/R” can send the message that even though this is between friends, you still want to take it seriously.
If you’re writing to your local council or representative, “V/R” can be helpful. It is a formal situation, but you’re not the one who needs to impress the other.
You can also use “V/R” in emails to your colleagues. Whilst it is at work, it’s between two people on the same level.
When not to end an email with “V/R”
But there are other times when you shouldn’t say “V/R”.
When emailing your boss, you will want to come across as professional and respectful as you can. So abbreviations are not acceptable.
If you’re emailing investors, it makes no sense to use “V/R”. If you can’t be bothered to type out “very respectfully”, why should they bother to hand over their money?
And, if you work in politics, not using abbreviations shows that you have respect for the people you represent.
9 Examples of emails that can end in “V/R”
“Hey, man. It’ll be nice to finally meet you. Josh always talks about you.
“I’ve booked us a table at 4pm in the Old Curry House. Just opposite the golf club. Let me know if you can make it.
“This whole situation has been highly frustrating for me. I just want my bins collected!
“I’ve nearly finished with my project. So if you need help with yours. Please just let me know.
“Please arrive at 3pm. The dress code is not too strict. But no tracksuits.
“The book club will begin tomorrow at 7pm.
“If you could please get back to me and let me know where the rats are, I can pay for them to be killed.
“If we could do this before the boss comes round tomorrow, that would be ideal.”
“Tim, bring the food. Mark, get the party supplies. Jess, bring the drinks. That should be everything we need.
“Please could I ask if I am on the electoral register?
V/R is still used a lot in the US Military
One place where “V/R” is used most often is in the United States Military. Here, everyone tends to end their emails with “V/R”. And what’s interesting is that it doesn’t matter who the sender or receiver is.
It doesn’t matter if you’re emailing your boss or your boss is emailing you. In the military, respect is a big thing, and it doesn’t matter who you’re speaking to. You need to show it.
Although there is no written rule about using “V/R” in the military, it has become an important custom. You would raise a few eyebrows if you ended your emails any other way.
Alternatives to V/R
As well as “V/R”, there are other ways to send an email. But which one you use will depend on who the email is to.
To an unknown person. Somebody who you haven’t met before.
When you have met them but can’t claim to really “know” them.
Somebody you know.
An informal ending to anybody
Lots of love
To a close friend or family member.
All the best
To anyone. But only in informal situations
For short and informal emails.
Is V/R very respectful?
Even though “V/R” stands for “very respectfully”, some would argue that it’s not very respectful at all.
The idea of respect is that you’re thinking about others and treating them with a degree of dignity. What is so dignified about an abbreviation? If you can’t even type out the words “very respectfully”, how much do you really respect them?
When you want to show respect, you should, at the very least, type in full words. When you write an email, you tend to have all your keys in front of you, so there is no excuse for writing words shorter than they need to be.
Why the debate about whether or not “V/R” is respectful” matters.
I know it might sound like I’m tilting at windmills. But having good manners is more important than you might think.
Manners do more than just make old people happy. They are the glue that holds society together. Without manners, everybody would be out for themselves, and we would spend a lot of time fighting with each other.
The internet and social media seem to be harming manners. But just because communication has changed, that doesn’t mean that manners are any less critical. By understanding which email ending is the most polite, we can become a society that always treats each other with respect and doesn’t put ourselves above others.
If you ever see “V/R” at the end of an email, you now know that it means “very respectfully”. This is fine for semi-formal emails such as those between friends organising something, between colleagues on the same level, or to an elected representative.
However, when writing to your boss or an investor, it’s best not to use “V/R”.
There is also some debate around how respectful “V/R” even is. How is it respectful if you can’t even type out the whole words? But that’s a debate which we’ll allow you to draw your own conclusions about.