How does one start an email to a professor? I am curious about how it is done in Russia, but also how it should be done in Russian in the United States. Over here, especially in small classes (like my Russian class), we have relatively casual relationships with professors. In an English email, I would say, "Hello Professor Smith."


2 Answers 2


I'd start an official message with:

Уважаемый Имя Отчество!

or alternatively:

Уважаемый профессор Фамилия!

In the case of a closer relationship, I'd use:

Здравствуйте, Имя Отчество!
Здравствуйте, профессор Фамилия!

  • 3
    To sound even more formal and less emotional, replace the exclamation mark with a comma. Commented May 8, 2018 at 17:04
  • 1
    @SergeySlepov A comma is actually informal and not recommended forum.gramota.ru/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4739
    – DYZ
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 23:16

If your relationship is casual and less formal one may be addressed as

Приветствую/Здравствуйте, профессор no (sur)names

Omission of a name underscores the informality and sounds kind of cheery, merry, enthusiastic and upbeat. And if the content of the message is somber or deals with a request of some sort, then it conversely sounds more appealing, cordial, intimate, hopeful and ingratiating.

  • I hate it when someone uses "Приветствую" as a greeting or "Извиняюсь" as an apology. It's like saying "I give you 10 roubles" and not give anything. If you want to greet someone, do so, not say you're doing so. But that might be just me. Commented May 9, 2018 at 13:51
  • @Sergey Slepov i share your sentiment but only with regard to the phrase "хочу/хотел бы вас поздравить", why only wish, do congratulate, but then language isn't exact science, it thrives on nuances, and it would be poorer without such expressions as "позвольте попросить вас", "разрешите предложить" and the like, despite existence of more straightforward ways of saying these things "прошу вас", "предлагаю вам", in which, apropos your remark, we still announce what we're doing Commented May 9, 2018 at 14:10

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