You may have seen “Good luck with your future endeavors” in a letter or email or heard it in a farewell speech. It is a common well wish in the business world where people move from one opportunity to the next, but is it correct to say?
It is correct to say “Good luck with your future endeavors” as a polite expression of encouragement in formal or semi-formal writing. Even though it is not a complete sentence grammatically, you may write the phrase as a minor sentence with the subject and verb implied by context.
Read on to learn more about its stated and implied meanings, its function as a minor sentence, and when to use it properly.
What Does “Good Luck With Your Future Endeavors” Mean?
“Good luck with your future endeavors” is a minor sentence derived from the major sentence “I wish you good luck with your future endeavors.” It is a polite expression by which the speaker expresses a desire for the addressee to experience favor in the future.
When we form salutations and similar direct addresses, we customarily omit the subject, verb, and indirect object (in this case, “I wish you”) because the context supplies their meaning.
With this parting statement, the speaker expresses a desire for the addressee to experience “good luck,” which means favor or fortunate outcomes. By adding the preposition “with,” the speaker applies the expression to a particular situation or event.
In this well wish, the speaker is expressing favor for the addressee’s “future endeavors.” An endeavor is an action or undertaking that someone consciously acts upon.
Putting the meanings together, “Good luck in your future endeavors” is a cordial way to say, “I hope your future actions work in your favor.”
How Do You Use “Good Luck With Your Future Endeavors”?
You may use “Good luck with your future endeavors” in a formal or semi-formal written address or a speech at a formal or semi-formal gathering. However, avoid using it in direct one-on-one conversation because it sounds formal and impersonal.
“Good luck with your future endeavors” is a minor sentence that consists of two parts. “Good luck” is the direct object of the implied verb “wish,” and “with your future endeavors” is a prepositional phrase that applies to the direct object.
“Good luck” is a complete minor sentence on its own. It is common to include a prepositional phrase beginning with “in,” “on,” or “with” when you want to apply the expression to a particular event (source). Sometimes you might encounter “good luck in your future endeavors,” but “with” is the preferred preposition to introduce an activity.
This well wish is a direct address, so you may also choose to include “I wish you” before the phrase to form a complete major sentence. However, it is unnecessary and might make your communication sound too formal or lengthy.
When addressing another person by using an imperative or a polite expression, you may omit both the subject and the indirect object (the speaker and the addressee, respectively) because the context and delivery establish who each person is.
Unlike imperatives, polite expressions seldom contain verbs. You may omit the verb from a polite saying stated as a minor sentence because the verb is usually an expression of desire (such as “wish,” “pray,” or “hope”) that is self-evident in the statement itself. It requires no action by the addressee.
When Can You Use “Good Luck With Your Future Endeavors”?
Use this phrase when the person you are addressing is preparing to undertake a new professional or personal activity. For example, it is appropriate in a written letter, email, or spoken address at a semi-formal gathering.
When we use the word “endeavor,” we refer to a deliberate course of action by which someone strives to achieve a particular goal or outcome (source). So you may use this phrase when addressing someone preparing to end one activity and begin a new activity.
Let’s look at two common scenarios: 1) a change of employment or volunteer service or 2) graduation from school.
If the addressee resigns from one job or organization to join a different one, you might include “Good luck with your future endeavors” in a farewell letter.
If the addressee is completing a course of study and preparing to enter the workforce, an emcee might include “Good luck with your future endeavors” in a commencement speech. The speaker may wish the entire graduating body good luck in this example. This works because “you” is both the singular and plural second-person pronoun.
In What Context Can You Use “Good Luck With Your Future Endeavors”?
Use this well wish in professional or formal communication, such as in a workplace, volunteer organization, or school. Specifically, you should use it when addressing a person or group leaving that setting to pursue a new opportunity in a new environment.
“Good luck with your future endeavors” implies that the speaker and the addressee are about to part ways. Further, the formality and lack of detail about the nature of the future endeavor suggest that the speaker expects their parting to be permanent.
Above, we mentioned that a commencement speech might include this statement to wish the graduates future success.
This suits the context well. Once the graduates have completed school, they will not repeat their studies. Instead, they will leave to pursue the careers and opportunities for which their studies have prepared them. Those who return will only do so in a very limited capacity, such as attending alumni events.
The emcee, whether the headmaster, a professor, or another faculty member, is likely to stay behind to continue his or her role at the school and receive a new group of students in the coming academic year.
The school’s time with the graduates has ended, and the school has no ongoing role in the graduate’s future endeavors.
The same rationale applies to addressing someone changing employment, particularly if the addressee will relocate to take on a new job.
A CEO or other executive might send a letter to the addressee that includes “Good luck with your future endeavors.” By doing so, the CEO acknowledges that neither he nor the company is an ongoing participant in the addressee’s next role.
In these situations, the nature of the future endeavor is of little concern to the speaker. Instead, the speaker focuses on politely expressing a farewell that is likely to be permanent.
Using “Good Luck With Your Future Endeavors” in a Full Sentence
You may use “Good luck with your future endeavors” as a complete minor sentence without additional words. You may also add a subject and verb to form a grammatically complete sentence.
The simplest way to turn this minor sentence into a complete sentence is by adding the subject, verb, and indirect object in front of the phrase, as we do here.
- I wish you good luck with your future endeavors.
Adding these words turns the minor sentence into a complete sentence but does not change the meaning. In both iterations, the speaker’s expression to the addressee is identical.
You must first form a complete sentence if you wish to include additional modifiers.
- On behalf of the entire company, I wish you good luck in your future endeavors.
In this instance, the speaker expresses the sentiment of the whole group, not just his or her own opinion. The sentence looks long, but it flows nicely. It sounds unnatural if we try to add the same modifier to a minor sentence.
- On behalf of the entire company, good luck with your future endeavors.
The mid-sentence pause and the absence of the speaker’s first-person pronoun make this construction sound cold and insincere. Moreover, it sounds like the speaker is expressing a sentiment that he or she does not personally share.
These examples show how including the subject and verb can do more than make the sentence grammatically complete. They can also convey contextual information about the people involved and their relationships.
When Not to Use “Good Luck With Your Future Endeavors”
Avoid using this minor sentence when addressing someone in a personal or non-formal setting or responding to a departure that does not result in a new endeavor.
The same formality that makes “Good luck in your future endeavors” appropriate in a professional setting makes it inadequate for a parting between close friends or relatives.
If you are addressing a family member or close friend who is moving to another job or another region, you likely have more intimate knowledge about the person’s future endeavors. You also likely have a mutual desire to maintain contact during your time apart and anticipate future visits or reunions.
In this situation, your wish for the other person’s success will also incorporate details about the change and promises to stay in touch.
You also want to avoid using “Good luck with your future endeavors” in response to a transition that does not include any such endeavors.
Retirement parties are common occurrences in the workplace. You might want to wish a retiring coworker a bright future, but you would not use this phrase to do so because retirement falls outside the scope of the word “endeavor.”
What Can You Use Instead of “Good Luck With Your Future Endeavors”?
You may use various expressions to convey a similar meaning to “Good luck with your future endeavors.” Alternatively, you may exchange some words with details specific to the addressee to convey a more personal sentiment.
Here are some functionally equivalent phrases:
- Best of luck with your future endeavors.
- Good luck in your new role.
- I hope everything goes well for you.
If you want to personalize your expression, try incorporating some specific details about the addressee’s future endeavors.
- Good luck in Tokyo.
- I trust you’ll make a great Chief Financial Officer.
Some speakers avoid using the word “luck” because it might suggest random chance or circumstances beyond the addressee’s control. In that case, you might say:
- I hope your new job is a success!
- I’m sure you will do well in your new role.
In contexts where “Good luck with your future endeavors” is not appropriate, try these alternatives:
- I’ll miss working with you. I know you’ll do great! Let’s meet up sometime.
In this example, the speaker expects that their departure is temporary and makes this sentiment clear. The speaker has also chosen words suitable for a friendly, personal relationship instead of a strictly professional one.
One more example for a different scenario:
- Enjoy your retirement.
Since this may or may not be a permanent departure, because there is no specific “future endeavor,” you want to choose a phrase more suitable to the occasion.
You also want to avoid using this well wish when congratulating a person for an internal promotion. Since the addressee will continue to be your coworker, there is no need for a farewell.
Polite Expressions as Minor Sentences
A minor sentence is an incomplete sentence functioning as a full sentence. To form a minor sentence, you may omit grammatical components such as a subject or verb (source).
We often use minor sentences to convey sentiments and preferences. For example, many common polite expressions are minor sentences:
- Happy birthday!
- Good luck!
- Good morning.
- Safe travels.
These are all things that people say to each other every day in the same context. You can make each of them into a complete sentence by adding “I wish you” in front of the phrase.
We often omit “I wish you” because the statement’s context supplies its meaning. The speaker and the addressee are self-evident in context, and the delivery of the sentiment itself provides enough meaning to make the verb “wish” unnecessary.
Not using minor sentences results in repetitive, overly formal, and flat language. Though minor sentences are difficult to understand at first, they are integral to gaining English fluency.
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
To learn more about minor sentences and how to use them, check out our articles Is It Correct to Say “Well Wishes”? and Is It Correct To Say “Hope You Arrived Safely”?
“Good luck with your future endeavors” is a minor sentence that offers a polite expression. You may use it in professional and semi-formal settings to extend a kind sentiment to a departing colleague or associate.