I've been wondering this for a while. What is the correct usage of "P.S." in e-mails? Where should and shouldn't it be used?

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    Uhm, maybe I'm wrong, but to me this question looks more related to "how to write an e-mail" rather than something strictly related to English...
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 20:38
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    What about French, Spanish, Italian, German? If I copied and pasted this question in any of those SE sites (pretending some of them already exist), the question would "fit"... Unless you're asking for something specifically about English usage of P.S., then I'd be wrong.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 20:43
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    I don't get the votes to close. P.S. is a linguistic element, and email is a linguistic medium. The proper usage is a reasonable thing to ask about, even if it's not easy to arrive at a concensus. Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 22:48
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    possible duplicate of Is Postscript still useful in the age of email? Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 14:38
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    This is borderline writers/English, so I think we should be inclusive and allow this here. It's also kind of a dupe of an existing question - it got a flag for that - with a slightly different spin. To that user, thanks for flagging, but I think it fails the test of answers interchangeable between the two questions = duplicate. Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 14:23

8 Answers 8


P.S. in e-mails is used exactly the same as P.S. in normal letters. It is short for the Latin post scriptum, i.e. written after the main script. As such, it is written at the bottom (end) of the main script (main e-mail in this case), and generally contains information which is trivial, or tangental to what was just said. For example,

I'm starting my new job on Monday. Really looking forward to it. I'm going to be working as a clothes designer.

P.S. Do you still like making clothes?

  • I know it's only an example, but if I got an email from someone I didn't know well enough to already know what their new job was going to be, that particular P.S. wouldn't seem trivial or tangential to me. I'd assume [s]he was sounding me out to work on making up the clothes [s]he was going to be designing! :-) Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 21:29
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    To be exact, Post Scriptum means "after what has been written"... By the way, Post Scriptum can also contain important information, the real feature is that you wrote it after you finished the letter, because you forgot to write it in the main body... And here I kind of agree with @FumbleFingers, in "formal" e-mails, it might sound weird... Maybe if they are informal, it can be ignored.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 0:30
  • P.S. goes after the signature.
    – ZygD
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 9:18

Personally I think P.S. is never really 'appropriate' in emails.

The whole point of a post-scriptum is it's something you think of after the main text has already been written. By which time in the old days of pen-and-ink you'd have already written your closing lines, and most likely signed it as well.

With electronic writing such as emails, just go back and add the extra text in the main body. Don't insult your reader by subjecting him to badly-organised text just because you can't be bothered to organise it before you click on Send.

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    So should books (written on computers, typewriter or with pen) never have footnotes, or does it mean the author was too lazy to go back and edit the main body? I know PS and footnotes are not quite the same thing, but I think they could be used in similar ways.
    – Hugo
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 22:16
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    @Hugo: Footnotes are quite common in the kind of 'pop science' books I often read, but to be honest I don't really like them that much. I'm never sure when to break off from the main thread, so sometimes I never actually read them at all. Similar to the disjointed style in New Scientist (Time may be more familiar if you're US), but at least in those the 'supplementary' text/diagrams are big enough to draw you in when you reach the end of a paragraph in the main article. Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 22:33
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    I think it is certainly appropriate as a stylistic element in emails as well. Although the technical necessity of a post scriptum addition may be obsolete, placing something in a "P.S." emphasizes its being an afterthought, which is an expression in itself.
    – WAF
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 0:34
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    Sometimes I use P.S. even though I know from the start I want to say it. But what I'm going to say in the P.S. is so separate from the email, that it's just clearer if you keep it separate. That's the kind of sentence that you should probably be sending another email just to say that. But being a short sentence, it's not worth a hassle. If you want to put it in the body, you may write it as a By the way, write before signing. So putting it in the body doesn't really make it more organized.
    – Shahbaz
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 12:10
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    Some emails are carefully crafted prose. We use a P.S. on automated emails thanking a donor upon payment to remind them that their donation might be tax-deductible. We don't want to cover it in the body of the email because such a business-oriented note, from a communications standpoint, diminishes the emphasis we want to place on the act of charitable giving. Email can be as formal as a letter, and a lot of businesses & organizations are using it for "official" communication because it saves money on postage. Don't assume email is always informal.
    – Chris
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 14:41

As FumbleFingers already noted, the post scriptum should appear after the main body of the text, perhaps even after the signature. With that said, I do agree with FumbleFingers that the construct likely has no place in E-mail.

I would like to additionally point out that there is another use for P.S. besides adding a new thought to the correspondence: I have often seen P.S. used in E-mails to incite a new thread of conversation that is tangent to the main topic. While I think that might be a legitimate use in other forms of correspondence, it is generally considered bad netiquette when used in E-mail. Although the rule was not written in the original RFC, it is generally considered bad form to change the topic of an E-mail thread; topics should be changed by sending a separate E-mail, thus starting a new thread.

With that said, in rare cases I think the P.S. construct might be acceptable if used like a footnote, i.e., to provide some additional clarification on something from the main body of text that is likely unnecessary, and would otherwise hamper the flow of the main text.

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    Well I did specifically say never really 'appropriate' rather than just never appropriate, and I think you've identified some aspects of 'excusable' exceptions. I don't do work emails much these days, but I always preferred a second email to receiving one email with an unrelated addendum. I really do think it's often just lack of consideration for people who might want/need to deal with things in an orderly and efficient manner. Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 21:21
  • I do use it in emails if the email itself is a formal business message, but the recipient is also a friend outside work. This makes it easy for them to forward on work related content while stripping out personal stuff, eg. Attached are those reports your Director asked for, yada yada, regards, Rory. p.s. You up for a beer after work?
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 22:58
  • @Rory Alsop: Haha glad I didn't work with you then. Maybe I'm anal, but I'd rather have the bit about the beer on a separate email. Or a call would have been better. Besides, what if I wanted to forward the work stuff to others? No thanks. Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 1:53

I recently used PS and here is an example:

To: John CC: Many people including executives

Subject: How to build a wall

Hi John,

Attached document explains how to build a wall...





I have also added details on how to get funding...






PS: I didn't have permissions to add this information to your online document and therefore I have created a separate document. Please feel free to copy/paste this information to your online document.

The main topic of the email is how to build the wall and how to get funding. Why it's not added to the online doc is trivial and most recipients of the email would not care. Therefore, I don't think it needs to be in the main body of the email.


Writers should be careful when if at all using PS at the end of an email.

As previously stated PS was used in pen and ink letters when the writer forgot to include something in the body of the letter - the only option was to try and squeeze it in in between lines or else rewrite the whole thing.

It is so easy to just add anything ommitted to an appropriate part of the main body of the email. Only the sender will know it wasn't included in the first draft.

Be aware if using PS as the receiving person may not see the PS as the email when open may only fit up to the signature at the bottom of the screen - the reader may not in this case get any inclination that they need to scroll further down because something (which the sender may feel is crucial) was ommitted from the body of the email.

This recently happened to me and the PS was a crucial piece of information which I completely missed casuing the sender to get upset and annoyed as they felt that I deliberately chose to ignore it.

Alternatively as a part-time cynic I may say that maybe the sender deliberately added it as a PS so that I wouldn't pick it up


Using "P.S." decreases your signal-to-noise ratio and degrades your ability to communicate clearly.

P.S. may be appropriate when using set ink or stone, however, in modern times, it is archaic and inexcusable as you can easily move text around.

As such, PS should never be used in an email.

(unless you do not care about communicating clearly)

By using PS in an email, you have demonstrated a failure to ask:

  • What is the point of this email?
  • What type of response do I want from it?

If your intention was to find out if someone still enjoyed making clothes, then your first sentence should have been:

"Do you still enjoy making clothes?"

If it wasn't the most pressing issue in the email, than it should have been tied closely to the sentence that was.

Otherwise, if you were just curious, say so:

"I'm curious, do you still enjoy making clothes?"


http://www.nature.com/scitable/ebooks/english-communication-for-scientists-14053993 http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324735104578117193149868504 https://writers.stackexchange.com/questions/9226/using-p-s-in-a-formal-email#

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    Depends on the email. P.S is valid in an informal email, and is also acceptable when content after the P.S is completely unrelated to the email body.
    – CLockeWork
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 9:55
  • Do you have any particular basis for concluding that "PS should never be used in an email?" Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 16:27
  • @PraveshParekh yes, PS is sloppy; it rescues your signal-to-noise by making it less clear what the purpose of your email was as a PS comment may be an entirely different subject matter (and perhaps should be a different email) or an aside, or something you thought of that needs an urgent response. Not using it forces you to decide where in the message the information is actually appropriate, and help you make it more clear as to why that information is there.
    – virtualxtc
    Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 21:01
  • That is your personal opinion. Where exactly have you read that PS is sloppy and should never be used? Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 23:33
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    In a quick, informal email? Your basis of noise reduction is a factor most people are never going to notice let alone care about. I would say that the visual structure (the post script being used to separate trivial and unconnected appendices) is more important.
    – CLockeWork
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 9:12

P.S could be used when you are trying to convey something which is not appropriate to the subject mentioned and still needed to be included to the same mail.


PS stands for "Please see" in the e-mails, to highlight something important. There is no need of Post script in the e-mails. Post script is outdated technique which was used in earlier days when there were no e-mails.


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    I don't think "please see" is the "P.S." that the original poster intended - particularly as OP accepted a "post scriptum" answer.
    – Standback
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 8:58

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