Look at the pictures. In pairs, ask and answer the fo llowing que stion s. • Have yo u seen any of th es e f ilms? Did you en joy t hem? • What do yo u th ink the ones yo u haven't see n are about? • What's yo ur favo urit e film? Why?

Formal or informal?
Read t hese ext racts fro m d iffere nt pieces of writ ing about films, and decide whether the language is generally formal o r informal. Circle the appropriate word above eac h extract.

A formal /informal
I saw a great movie last night with Helen. You'd have loved it! It's called The Score. and it's about a robbe ry. De Niro is fab as one of the robbers, and Ed ward Norton - as usua l is realty cool! Great twist at the end, too. 1 reckon it's gonna win loads of Oscars.

C formal / informal
Alt houg h there may we ll be some kind of
connectio n between vio lence on TV and

vio lence in society. it's really not clear what that connection is. It ce rtainly is not the

case that the majority of people. after
wat ching a vio lent film, feel an increased need to commit vio lent acts. In fact . possibl y

B formal / informal
I would be extremely grateful if yo u cou ld let me know how long I will have to wait from the date of my order until the satellite dish and programme decoder are inst alled.

quite the opposite. D fo rmal / info rmal
As requested, I have visit ed the three outdoor cine mas currently t aking part in th e film fest ival. I have co mpared them in terms of t icket pricing, facilities, comfort , so und quality and picture qualit y. My findings are o utl ined belo w.


E formal /informal To conclude. cinema appears to be increasing in popu larity amongst younger age groups. despite t he availability of high-quality video and DVD. The evidence suggests that t his is due partly to th e social element involved in going to t he cinema , and part ly to the benefits of a large screen and state-of-t he-art sound system . F Kyle's language: fo rma l / _iof9rma( The writer's language: formal/ informa l 'Oh, I really don't fancy going to t he cinema tonight. Can't we just sta y in and watch a movie on TV or something?' said Kyle. His tone of voice revealed t hat he was hiding his real reasons for wanting to remain at home.

G formal /informal -Furthe rmore. your advertisement stated that the DVD contains interviews with the stars and t he director. The copy which I received unfortunately co nta ins the film and nothing more. H formal / informal As you will see from my C.V. (attached), I have worked as an extra on a number of films. I believe that my references from those films demonstrate that I am professional, reliable and hardwork ing.

How did you know?
Look again at ext racts A, Band C. Write a word or short phrase from t he ext racts on t he lines provided. e xtr act A 1 Find two examples of informal grammar. 2 Fi nd an example of an informal verb. 3 Fi nd an example of informal punct uat ion. 4 Find a sentence without a ve rb. S Find an example of VERY informal spe lling. 6 Which word is short for 'fabulous'? 7 Which phrase means 'many'? extract B 1 Which phrase mea ns 'Please te ll me ..: ? 2 Find one example of the passive. extract C 1 Find one example of fo rmal grammar. 2 Find one example of informal grammar. 3 Find a mo re formal phrase fo r 'It's not tru e at all ...'. 4 Find a more formal phrase for 'most'.

W r i t i ng

s »









Match the text types
Now loo k at all the extracts again. Match each e xtract with a text type
below, by writing A-H on the lines provided.

1 2 3 4 5

letter of application letter of complaint letter req uest ing information letter to a penfriend composition for your teacher 6 art icle fo r a young people's magazine 7 report 8 short sto ry


Discuss your answers. Do you agree on the text t ypes?


What do you think?
Write T for True and F for Fa lse next to these statements about writing. 1 In an article for a young people's magazine . you shouldn't use contractions (don't. can't. it's. etc) at all. 2 In a composition for your teacher. you should avoid using contractions. 1 Only gramm ar is formal o r informal; vocabu lary isn't. 4 Phrasal ve rbs are usually (but not always) informal. 5 When yo u write a piece of writing, th e level of fo rmality depends on who yo ur reader is. 6 Y only need t o have paragraphs in a formal piece of writ ing. ou 7 You can be quite chatty and co nversational in a lette r of ap plicatio n. 8 A co mposition fo r yo ur teacher is mo re formal than an art icle for a young person's magazine. 9 An art icle fo r a young person's magazine is the same level of formality as a letter to a penfriend.

Study the model
Quickly read model co mposition 1 on page 100 and find info rmal words and ph rases that mean the same as these more form al words and phrases. 1 Thank you very much 2 I am very plea sed 3 Yes 5 bought 6 much 7 howeve r

4 difficult 8 I have t o Now find three examp les of informa l grammar and t wo e xamples of informal pun ctuation and circle them in t he model.




Read th is composit ion question and do t he exercises that follow.
You saw an interesting film at the cinema last night. Write a lett er to you r penfriend explaining why you enjoyed the film so much and recommend ing that they see it. Write your letter.

Answer the followin g quest ions using yo ur imagination . Discuss your answers with the class.
What 's the name of your penfriend? _

What will yo u refer to fro m t he ir last letter. or what will you ask them, BEFORE you ment ion th e film? Who did yo u go to th e cinema wit h? What was th e name of the film you saw? What kind of film is it? Who is in it? Who directed it? What is it about? Why did you parti cularl y en joy it? Why do yo u t hink your friend will enjoy it? What reaso n will yo u give for ending your lette r?

_ _ _ _ _ _
_ _


Th in k ab out fo rm a li t y
Circle the sentences which would be appropri ate for this kind of lette r. There might be mo re t han one se ntence in each group which is ap pro priate. Paragraph 1 a I am writing to thank you fo r your letter. b Thanks a lot for yo ur last lette r. e I'm writing to thank you fo r your last lette r. Paragraph 2 a Anyway, a bunch of us went t o the cinema last night. b My news - I went to th e movies last night wit h Darren and Angie. c I would like to de scribe an interesti ng film I saw at t he cinema last night. Paragraph 3 a Bruce Willis was great as the baddie! b Furthermore, we we re all ext re mely impressed by both the quality of the acting and the direct io n. e I'd t he refore reco mmend that you se e it as soo n as you get th e chance.

d Go and see it if you get th e chance I think you'll lo ve it! e I wo uld st ro ngly suggest that you go and see thi s movie. Paragraph 4 a To concl ude , th e film was marvellous. b Well, I'd better go now as I've got to do some ho mework. e That's all from me fo r now. I'll be in touch again soon . Closing expressions a Yours, b Yours faithfull y, c Yours sincerel y, d Take care, e Lots of love, f Bye for now !


r ing

Sk i l l s







Plan your paragraphs
Complete t he fo llowin g par agraph plan, making notes o n what yo u are going t o include in each paragraph.

Read t hese sente nces and then use t he words in bold to complete t he sentences below. • Y can get your tickets at th e box office at the ou cinema. • We don't watch many videos these days; we ten d to watch DVDs - t he quality is bette r. • The film is about a guy who t ravels back in t ime to save t he planet. • The Score stars Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando and Edward Norton. • In t he film, De Ni ro plays a jazz dub owne r who is also a maste r t hief. • Gone with th e Wind is set in t he American Civil War. • Shall we go to the video store/club and get a video out for tonight? • Most foreign-language films have subtitles at the bottom for you t o read. • Some foreign-language films are dubbed, which means t hat t hey put all t he voices into your language. • A twist in t he plot is when something very unexpected happ ens. 1 I hate it when foreign films are ___ _ _ _ _ ; I like to listen to t hem in th eir original language. 2 The film is on another planet . but it's really about modern-day issues on Earth. 3 Let's get our t ickets from th e _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ first and t hen get some popcorn. 4 There's a very near here but it do esn't have many recent films. 5 Leonardo Di Caprio a struggling art ist who falls in love with a rich girl. 6 It's a comedy a group of people who work in a TV studio. 7 I'm going to t ry not to read t he _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ; it' ll help me pract ise my English. 8 The re's a great at t he end it t urns out th at he's actually a ghost ! 9 Ast he price of the players com es down, ____ _ _ _ _ are going to become more and more popular. 10 The film Brad Pitt, and was directed by Robert Redford.

I",-Poy"",,,,,l let+ey pI""",
P""''('''B'"'''''Pl.-. I


PO\v",~ ..O\pv.,


P(>\YO\BYO\pV. .,



Yo..." .p(vst 11.<?\......e


No w w rite yo ur letter.

Read t his chec klist. When yo u have written yo ur letter, tick t he boxes.

• • •


have used informal grammar

(incl uding contractions).

I have use d info rmal vocabulary. I have used so me info rmal lette r expre ssions.


• I have mention ed my pen frlen d's lette r in paragrap h 1. • I have reco mme nded that my penfriend sees t he film . • I have used at least o ne informal
clos ing expression.

C 'J

I have writte n my first name at t he

bottom of the letter.



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