Composing Business Emails in Spanish

Instructor: Manuel Ruiz

Manuel has taught and written curriculums for several educational organizations for over 10 years and has a master's degree in Biology.

In this lesson, we will learn the basic business Spanish vocabulary that is needed in order to write a formal business email. By the end of this lesson, you should be able to know how to begin and end a business email properly.

Composing Emails Overview

Emails are now part of our daily life. Have you emailed anyone recently? Was it a relative, a friend, or maybe someone at work? We'll begin with some basic explanations about the structure and format then develop these details by practicing how to start and end a business email in Spanish. Están listos? (Are you ready?) Then let's begin.

Months in Spanish

First of all, in English, we are accustomed to using date formats in numbers when starting most emails - like this one: '01/01/2000'. However, in Spanish-speaking countries, we tend to use a different format - we write or list the day first, month second, and year at the end: 1 de octubre del 2001 (October 1, 2001. Note that in Spanish, months are not capitalized). Now, before we can move any further, we should learn the months in Spanish.

  • enero - January (pronounced: eh-neh-ro)
  • febrero - February (pronounced: feh-bee-ro)
  • marzo - March (pronounced: mar-so)
  • abril - April (pronounced: ah-breel)
  • mayo - May (pronounced: ma-yo)
  • junio - June (pronounced: who-nee-oh)
  • julio - July (pronounced: who-lee-oh)
  • agosto - August (pronounced: ah-ghost-oh)
  • septiembre - September (pronounced: sep-tee-em-bre)
  • octubre - October (pronounced: ok-too-bre)
  • noviembre - November (pronounced: no-bee-em-bre)
  • diciembre - December (pronounced: dee-see-em-bee)

Starting Your Email

Here are some basic ways to begin your business email that we'll cover in greater detail.

Greeting Translation Pronunciation
Estimado Dear ess-tee-ma-do
A quien corresponda To whom it may concern ah kee-en core-ess-pon-da
A la atención de Attention ah la ah-ten-see-on de
Saludos Greetings sa-lu-dos
Buenos días Good morning boo-en-oz dee-as
Buenas tardes Good afternoon boo-en-as tar-des
Buenas noches Good evening boo-en-as no-chess

A quien le interese will translate directly into 'To whom it may concern' in English. However, in Spanish, we rarely use this direct translation. After all, the direct translation could sometimes sound rude or disrespectful to some people. Instead, we can use A quien corresponda, which is the proper way of saying 'To whom it may concern' in Spanish. We can also use other formulas according to who we are sending the email to.

If we are sending a business email to an unknown person, then we can instead address the company, business, office, organization, etc. For example, A la atención del departmento de recursos humanos (Attention: department of human services). Also, note that in Spanish, we don't capitalize the words in the title, only the very first one.

Now, if we know who we are sending the email to, then we can address that person: Estimado Sr. Torres (Dear Mr. Torres), Estimada Sra. Torres (Dear Mrs. Torres), or Estimada Srta. Torres (Dear Ms. Torres).

Also, if you are sending an email to a colleague or a coworker who you know well, then you can use something less formal such as Saludos (Greetings) or the usual Buenos días (Good morning), Buenas tardes (Good afternoon), or Buenas noches (Good night).

Sometimes, deciding what to put right after the greeting is the hardest part when composing a business email. Here are a few phrases to help you get started:

  • Gracias por su interés en... (Thank you for your interest in...)
  • Espero se encuentre bien (I hope all is well).
  • Por medio de esta carta... (Through this letter...)
  • Mi nombre es... (My name is...)

Let's practice by writing the beginning of three letters with these styles (notice that we usually follow the greeting with a colon):

Letter to an unknown person/department

11 de diciembre del 2013

A quien le corresponda: (To Whom It May Concern:)

Mi nombre es... (My name is...)

Letter to a Department

25 de agosto del 2016

A la atención del departamento de recursos humanos de la compañía Major Soda Company: (Attention Major Soda Company Department of Human Resources:)

Por medio de esta carta... (Through this letter...)

Letter to a Specific Person

24 de Agosto del 2016

Estimado Sr. Torres: (Dear Mr. Torres:)

Gracias por su interés en... (Thank you for your interest in...)

Ending Your Email

We now know how to properly begin a business email in Spanish. However, the ending is just as important as the beginning.

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