How do we show our affection to another person through language?
And, are words powerful enough to make third-party individuals feel good about us and themselves through a “forwarded message?”
But of course! We do this all the time without even noticing it, such as when we “give our regards” to a person through a mutual connection.
Luckily, we’ve covered the nuances behind this expression in this post. So now, kindly scroll down for ample details.
What does “give my regards” mean?
“Give my regards” simply means “send my greetings” to another person who is not part of the ongoing conversation. It is often used as a closing remark to convey politeness and affection through language. In less formal contexts, we can reduce the formality of this expression by using “tell someone I said hi.” On the other hand, we may increase its formality by saying “extend my greetings” instead.
“Give my regards” in more detail
Humans are social beings which means that we have an innate need to interact with other people around us. Well, why not?
These interactions are integral in keeping harmony and preventing violence from happening, similar to how we use humor in our daily lives.
We interact using gestures, and of course, through language.
A language is powerful enough to move mountains when used properly, but it can also be a subversive tool when used for misinformation, manipulation, and aggression purposes.
For example, a phrase as common as “give my regards” has the power to make someone’s day so much better, especially when the message comes from a person dear to us.
However, “give my regards” may also be manipulatively used to lure a person into a relationship on the other side of the spectrum.
In the next subsections though, you will understand how to effectively use the mentioned phrase to serve a positive purpose.
The usage of “give my regards”
“Give my regards” is an affective expression that simply means “send my greetings and respect” to a third-party addressee.
This expression generally has a positive connotation which is useful in starting or maintaining an intimate relationship with someone.
In the spoken context, this expression’s meaning can be simplified into the act of greeting another person who is not part of the ongoing conversation.
The addressee being referred to by the speaker is often a mutual connection for both interlocutors.
Similarly, it is used to express greetings and good wishes to another person. The intended addressee is dependent on how the phrase is structured, which will be explained later.
The function of “give my regards”
As regards function, the use of “give my regards” is an expression used to endow politeness which is inherently used to maintain social balance.
It means that it simply acts as a buffer to prevent aggression from happening as its main purpose is to convey goodwill to others.
Therefore, it is opposite to insults which are also naturally used to manifest impoliteness through language.
Rapport-building is a general requirement in having a harmonious society, which is the main reason why we use polite expressions like “give my regards” when necessary.
The placement of “Give my regards” within the letter (e-mail)
In formal contexts like business correspondence, are more likely to see expressions like “best regards” or “warmest regards.”
These phrases are often observed at the end of emails and letters, known as the complimentary close, which is directed toward the reader.
The complimentary close not only signals the end of the message but also aims to express goodwill to the reader, hence a sign of politeness.
It is also worth noting that not adding a complimentary closing remark is not necessarily an attempt to be impolite to the message receiver.
But, adding one indicates that the writer is keen on observing the completeness of the message, and thus, likely to come across as professional.
“Give my regards”, on the other hand, can be used as part of the main message of a letter or email to extend goodwill wishes to a person close to the reader.
In the spoken context, the use of “give my regards” also marks the same intent, whose underlying purpose boils down to showing benevolence by using language as a vehicle.
Now, let’s also take a closer look at some variations of “give my regards” to have more flexibility.
Variations of “give my regards”
There are different ways to structure “give my regards” both in writing and speaking.
Here are a few of them.
Give my regards to him/her
One of the most commonly-used structures can be achieved by adding a preposition and its object afterward.
We normally use object pronouns in place of nouns when the context already implies the person being referred to.
In the example above, the premise already explains the person being referred by the speaker.
So, substituting “your sister” to “her” in the second sentence makes the statement non-redundant.
Give him/her my regards
Another way to structure the same expression is by placing the object pronoun right after the verb “give.”
The same meaning is implied in the statement above, but we can also make use of this alternate structure instead of the previous one, which is coming from the speaker.
Give you his/her regards
Now, if we want to forward the message to the addressee, we can simply use the structure “give you his or her regards.”
This time, “you” stands for the addressee’s name, whereas “his” or “her” indicates the sender of the message.
One thing to note in the above example is that although the sentence is perfectly grammatical, it might come across as quite formal.
To adjust the tone, we can simply just say “she said hi” or “she said hello.” If we want to increase intimacy, we can also say “she sends her love.”
Synonyms of “give my regards”
Since the concept of formality and informality have just been mentioned, let’s also try to differentiate them using other synonymous expressions.
Here are a few examples of how to adjust the tonality of “give my regards.”
Tell him/her I said “hi”
As briefly mentioned, we can simplify the “give my regards” to “say hi” when the interaction is relatively casual.
This is, again, possible in conveying messages to people with whom we share intimate relationships.
And, when the message is to be passed on to the intended addressee, we can say the next statement.
Send my love
Another similar expression is “send my love” in which the last word can be conveniently replaced with words like “hugs” or “kisses.”
This is commonly observed when the speaker or writer intends to increase the amount of enthusiasm of the message.
Changing the tonality this way implies a stronger intent to be affectionate to the indirect addressee, which also generally makes the direct addressee feel good in the process.
Send my compliments
In more formal situations, such as when having a discourse with someone relatively distant, we can increase the formality by changing the last word.
“Send my compliments” would be more appropriate when dealing with clients, superiors, or professors.
Register formality is essential in demonstrating seriousness and decorum when communicating with psychologically distant individuals.
Conversely, this verbiage is not encouraged in casual conversations for register alignment reasons.
And, also bear in mind that “send my compliments” does not necessarily mean saying “hi” or “hello” only.
It rather conveys respect and admiration to the intended addressee, which is why it has to be used accordingly.
Extend my greetings
And, we can also use “extend my greetings” to imply a closer and more formal meaning to “give my regards.”
This one is closer to saying “hi” compared to the previous formal expression elaborated.
Similarly, this verbiage is formal and, therefore, must be used accordingly, such as in a political speech or business-related discourse.
Send my regards
The last synonymous phrase to “give my regards” is “send my regards” which can be used in neutrally-formal contexts.
Compared to “tell her I said hi” and “send my love,” this expression denotes a relatively formal meaning.
However, this is also slightly more casual than “send my compliments” and “extend my regards.”
This is because “send” is less formal than “extend,” while “regards” is also more formal than “hi” or “hello.”
So, when you want to sound casual yet still maintain some formality in your tone, you may use “send my regards” instead of the other synonyms mentioned in this section.
Here’s an example of a brief dialogue between a person who is closer to the indirect addressee than the direct one.
As you may have noticed in the dialogue’s context, the relationship between the speaker and direct addressee is not that intimate.
But, the speaker is rather related to the indirect addressee, the brother; hence, similar situations could also prompt the use of “send my regards.”
Frequently Asked Questions on “Give My Regards”
How can we use “send my regards” in a sentence?
We can use “send our regards” to express warmth or affection to an indirect addressee such as in “Please send my regards to your grandma.”
How can we respond or reply to “give my regards to someone?”
When the message is directed to a person dear or close to us such as friends and family members, the easiest form of response is “I will. Thank you,” or we can use a truncated version like “Will do.” We may also further reciprocate the message sender by asking about a person close to him or her.
When can we say “give my regards to your family?”
This expression is often observed as a closing remark either in written or spoken discourse. It is used to convey affection toward the addressee, and hence, also considered as a form of politeness strategy.
Politeness in speech is used to make people more likable, which is integral in keeping a harmonic relationship in our society.
Ergo, the use of “give my regards” and other similar expressions highlights the importance of the transmission of politeness in the English language.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.