Untitled Men

Forms of address are shown below for use in social and business contexts when addressing untitled individuals who do not belong to the peerage or professions where use of additional titles is necessary.

Gentlemen

It is for the writer to decide whether to use one of the following three styles: John Brown, Esq, Mr John Brown, or simply John Brown.

The use of ‘Esq’ was traditional for the greater part of the 20th century, but digital communication has eroded more formal styles of address and ‘Mr John Brown’ is a polite, direct, unpretentious and commonly used style of address.

Mr John Brown is still a polite, direct and unpretentious style of address, and is probably the safest form to use if in doubt.

How to address a Gentleman

Beginning of letter

Dear Mr Brown

End of letter

Yours sincerely

Envelope

Mr John Brown/John Brown, Esq/John Brown

Verbal communication

Mr Brown

Invitation

Mr John Brown

Joint invitation* & joint form of address

Mr and Mrs John Brown

Description in conversation

Mr Brown

List of Directors or Patrons

Mr John Brown

Place card

Mr John Brown

*Note that, traditionally, invitations to a married couple, when sent to their home address, are addressed to the wife alone, with both names being inscribed on the invitation card. It has become increasingly acceptable, however, to address the envelope with both names.

SHARE THIS:

Forms Of Address

Debrett's Handbook

Debrett's Handbook

Debrett's Handbook

Debrett's Handbook

Debrett's new publication encompassing correct form, modern manners and everyday behaviour

search now
Debrett's Stationery

Debrett's Stationery

Debrett's Courses

Debrett's Courses

Training & Classes

Training & Classes

Providing the skills and confidence to be welcome and at ease in any professional or social situation.

search now