Most of the emails I receive from German speakers all contain the same mistake; and all in the first sentence!

Dear Phil,

thanks for your email.

Did you know that English sees the salutation (e.g. Dear Phil,) as separate to the opening sentence?

This means that the first line of an English email should always begin with a capital letter:

Dear Phil,

Thanks for your email.

This is, of course, very different to German, which uses a lower case letter:

Lieber Phil,

danke für deine Mail.

Take a look through your sent emails. How many times did you make this mistake in English emails?

And how many of the emails that you have received from native English speakers begin with a capital letter?

Here’s my simple tip: Even if you know this rule, it’s easy to forget, so always check this directly before you click ‘send’.

If you have any questions about how you can improve your English skills, send me an email at