How to use the word "DEAR"

Hello, my dear members of MyEC.

Often, I see members here write or say,
"How are you, dear?"
"Come on dear!"
"Have a nice day, dear."
"What is going on, dear?"
... and so on and on.

A friend of mine, a native English speaker, told me once she does not understand why people say so. I had to smile because I knew why she found it crazy that people who are not close to each other (they are no lovers, family members or very close friends) do call someone in that way.

That made me write this post.

When we use "dear" without mentioning a name, "darling" has the meaning of "darling", "sweetheart", "love", "darling", "baby" ... I think you all know from what I speak.
In that case, "dear" is used as a noun and replaces, for example, the name of the beloved person.

We never would name someone "dear" in our native language when we are not in love with them in the sense of darling, love, sweetheart, do we?

In any other case, we should use "dear" as an adjective.

So we can say or write (just for example):
"How are you, dear friend?"
" What is going on, dear Rose?"
" Hello, dear Iris."
"Hello, my dear friend XXXXX:"
...and so on and on.

Imagine, you write a letter addressing a colleague "Hello, dear." instead of "Hello, dear colleague Xxxxxxxx.", it could be very embarrassing...LOL...Don't you think so?

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

Rose Iris

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  • I am going to implement this note from today onwards thanks Ms. Iris 

    • It's my pleasure, Garima. 

  • Thanks, nan.

    It's good to see you around again.


  • Thank you for sharing this useful tip!

  • What an interesting post that is worthwile to be read from the beginning to the end!! I prefer to use Dear Sir(s), Dear Madam(s), Mr, Mrs, Miss, when I don't know nobody of the people who is speaking to me, otherwise I use dear with my sister, my mother, my father, my aunts, my uncles and my cousins (male or female) and sometimes with a few female or male colleagues for which I have a very good friendship in work environment.... 

    Too many people are stupid when they use dear with everyone whose identity or relationship isn't clear and refer to a lot of people in no way related to them: I don't am able to understand what's the reason for which they decide in that way....

    I agree with your opening post, Rose Iris, and I'm sure that it will receive a lot of positive comments on it.....

    See you soon in EnglishClub and have a nice weekend.....

    • Hallo Favola20.

      I can't do anything else than agreeing with each single word you wrote. There is nothing to add.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, reading, and commenting on my post.

      See you around

      Have a nice weekend, too.

  • I need to to thank you for this good read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to check out new stuff you post…

    • Thanks, Amanda.


  • Dear Rose, after reading Josef Essberger's comment, I can't add more. Not every native speaker is a good reference but only educated people.

    Thank you for sharing us nice topic.

    • Hi, tawfeeq, as far as I see, Josef did not say my friend was wrong. He just explained the diversity if using language.

      By the friend is an English teacher. She always wants peope to use everything correctly.

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

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