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Formal Eglish vs Informal

Formal Eglish vs Informal

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Published by giraffesaregreen
formal and informal english
formal and informal english

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: giraffesaregreen on Oct 23, 2010
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07/25/2013

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Formal and Informal EnglishThe difference between formal and informal English is not a difference between
correct 
and
incorrect 
, but adifference of what is known as
register 
. A register is a variety of language related to a particular subjectmatter or area of activity, a set of words and expressions as well as syntactical features that may be said tocharacterise that specific area of language. There are many registers: technical, academic, mathematical,scientific, etc. Very broadly speaking, we can also speak of a “formal” and “informal” register in English. Inwriting academic reports and the like, it would be normal to draw most of the vocabulary and expressionsfrom the formal register, and few, if any, from the informal. This entails avoiding colloquial (everyday) or slang expressions in your writing assignments. The question of register is far more complicated than indicatedhere; for example, there are many degrees of formality and informality. However, below are listed a fewexamples which may be of practical assistance.
Informal
They
did
an experimentThen the Drive Manager 
goes through somesteps to
install the programme
One after the other
They
found out
what
the important things
were
You
 
can find out all about
the survey on page 7
We think you should discuss
the researchfindings at the next departmental meetingDoctors have
come up with
a new methodof….Safety officers are
looking into
the problemThe cost of cleaning services has
gone up
25% over the last three years
InformalWe do not think it is a good idea to doanything at the momentMany thanks to
the staff at “Computers R Us”
for their help on the technical sideFormal
The experiment was
carried out /performed
The Drive Manager then
performs / executesa series of functions / operations in orderto
install the programme
At regular intervals
They
determined / discovered /established / identified
the
importantproperties / characteristics / issuesDetails of the survey are to be found
on page 7
It is recommended that the researchfindings are discussed
at the nextdepartmental meetingDoctors have
created / established
a newmethod of….Safety officers are
investigating
the problemThe cost of cleaning services has
risen by
25% over the last three years
FormalIt is suggested that no action should betaken at this stageThanks are extended to the staff at
Computers R Us” for their 
technicalsupport
 
You need to get the patient’s help whendoing these hearing testsThere were no big differences
between thethree different groups
we
tested
A lot of 
This
seemed to fix
the problem
Enough
This
shows that …
 Numbers are
going up
They
put
the plan
into action
This
let them keep the same
temperature
during the whole
experimentThese results are
because of factors like
weight, age …(
Slightly less formal:
 
We would like tothank 
….)
When conducting these audiological tests,the active participation of the patient beingtested is required.No significant differences emerged
 betweenthe three different groups
testedMany / much / a great deal of 
This
appeared to rectify
the problem
Sufficient
This
demonstrates…
 Numbers are
increasing
The plan
was implemented / carried out
This
allowed / permitted / resulted in /ensured
a
constant
temperature
throughout
the experiment
/ for the entire
experimentThese results are
dependent on factors suchas
weight, age …Differences between formal and informal English
Formal EnglishInformal English
Used in official, literary, academic, etc. content.Used in everyday, personal conversations.Typically used in careful, edited writing — when thewriter has a lot of time to
 polish
his text. FormalEnglish also occurs in speech, usually when thespeaker is saying something that was prepared beforehand (for example, reading the news or 
delivering
an official speech).Typically used in "improvised" speech — when the speaker is speaking without preparation, as in a conversation (inreal life or over the phone). Informal English also occurs inwriting, usually whenever the writer is writing quickly andwithout editing (for example, in an Internet chatroom or inquick, personal e-mails).Sentences are longer and more complicated, for example:
Toyota's US sales bounced back in March as substantial discounts helped to win back customerswho had been shaken by the firm's mass safety recalls.
 Because informal English is "improvised", it is
sloppy
.Speakers (and sometimes writers) often do the following:Use "delaying expressions" to give themselves time:
Well, I think they should have asked us first, you know?
 Use "correcting expressions" to correct themselves:
 He'snot well. I mean, he's not sick, but he's very tired.
 Use "qualifying expressions" to show that what they said isnot exactly right:
This whole blogging thing is getting kind of old.
 The standard of correctness is higher. Some phrasesare considered correct (or at least acceptable) inInformal English contains useful "everyday phrases", for example:
 
informal English, but
wrong
in formal English. For example:
 I have made less mistakes.
(formal:
 I have made fewer mistakes.
)
She's liking it.
(formal:
She likes it.
)
 I feel real good.
(formal:
 I feel really good.
)
 Here you are. There you go.
(when giving something tosomeone)
 Excuse me?, Come again?
(to ask someone to repeatsomething)
What do you mean?
(to ask for explanation)
So, you're saying that...?
(to ask for confirmation)
 Exactly!
,
 I couldn't agree with you more.
(to agree withsomeone)
 By the way...
,
 Anyway...
(to change the topic)
See you.
 
Take care.
(to say goodbye)A huge number of words and phrases are used mainlyin formal English. For example:
nevertheless
,
todisclose
,
to constitute
,
to undertake
,
daunting 
,
impervious
,
anew
,
truly
,
 solace
,
to enchant 
,
 frantically
,
 sizeable
,
to clutch
,
heyday
,
as it happens
,
upsurge
,
retrieval 
 A huge number of words and phrases are used mainly ininformal English. For example:
dude
,
 freaking 
,
uh-huh
,
nope
(=
no
),
to puke
,
trashy
,
 grownup
,
awesome
,
to chill out 
,
 stuff 
,
hard-up
,
to tick somebody off 
,
to sell like crazy
.Many (but not all) phrasal verbs are avoided.Phrasal verbs are used frequently. For example, in informalsituations, people usually say
 found out 
instead of 
discovered 
,
came across
instead of 
encountered 
and
 got away
instead of 
escaped 
.Words and phrases are sometimes pronounced in ashortened and simplified way, e.g.
 Lemme go!
,
 I'm doin'  fine
,
Whassup?
,
Whatcha gonna do?
Examples
Active and Passive voice(i) Our technician repaired the fault on 12
th
June. Now it’s your turn to pay us.(f) Although the fault was repaired on 12th June, payment for this intervention has still not been received.Phrasal verbs and Latina(i) The company laid him off because he didn't work much.(f) His insufficient production conducted to his dismissal.Direct and Formulaic(i) I’m sorry but …(i) I’m happy to say that …(f) We regret to inform you that …(f) We have pleasure in announcing that …Use of Slang(i) He had to get some money out of a hole in the wall …(f) He withdrew the amount from an ATM.Personal form & nominators(i) If you lose it, then please contact us as soon as possible.(f) Any loss of this document should be reported immediately …Linking words

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