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GSP – Grammar, Vocabulary, Punctuation Formal and Informal Writing

Activity 1: Language features of Formal and Informal Writing
Tick the appropriate column. Language features 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Contractions, e.g. I’d, He’s Phrasal verbs, e.g. get on with Passive voice, e.g. The price has been increased Adjectives, intensifiers, extreme language e.g. absolutely unbelievable Using a lot of the following punctuation marks: ! - ? Linking words like, e.g. nevertheless, furthermore, conversely, at present Leaving out words in short phrases, e.g. Just read your note Linking words like, e.g. I mean, so, by the way, at any rate, talking about, and, but… Single word verbs e.g. to retain, to depart Formal writing Informal writing

10. Starting a sentence with ‘And’ or ‘But’ or ‘Because’ 11. Colourful language for expressing opinions and emotions e.g. To be quite honest, Believe it or not, Guess what? 12. Phrases for shared knowledge, e.g. as you know, Just like you said, If you know what I mean 13. Personal pronouns, e.g. I, you, me, they 14. Complex sentences, i.e. sentences using a number of clauses linked by linking words 15. Vague language, e.g. thing, stuff, it, this, those 16. Rhetorical questions, e.g. Did you know that…? 17. Expressing ideas strongly, e.g. Nuclear power is the only way forward. 18. Using tentative / hedging language e.g. It is possible that nuclear power… / It seems that…

Learner Development Unit http://www.brad.ac.uk/learner-development/

nobody) They did a survey on the way people use water. you. don’t ask the reader questions and take the personal pronoun out (we). Tip: Don’t use words which refer to people informally (I. Inf. 8. 6. A survey on water usage was conducted. Nobody can say how climate change will affect water supply. 5. Tip: Use formal nouns and adjectives not emotional or extreme language. 12. Domestic water usage should be more carefully monitored. Informal Statement I think that… Tip: Be tentative (soft language) when giving your judgement.Inf. formal verb for ‘look at’ In this essay.. Inf. It is impossible to predict how climate change will affect water supply. 15. 10. Tip: Don’t start the sentence with ‘and’. Use formal linking words instead. 14.Activity 2: Formal / Informal Language: Practice activity Fold this piece of paper in half longways so that you cannot see the right hand column. Inf. 3. Inf. In this essay. Finding enough water for everyone in the world is still a huge problem. . them. Form. Because the world’s water supply is finite… Tip: Don’t start a sentence with ‘and’. it seems that… OR it could be argued that… Finding sufficient water for the global population remains a significant challenge. Due to the fact that the world’s water supply is finite Answer KEY for Activity 1: 1. ‘but’ or because. x y z will be discussed / analysed / evaluated etc.. 7. 2. There are many possible altervatives. 9. Form. Inf.. Inf. 11.. read the right hand column for some suggestions.. Tip: Get rid of ‘I’. Now read the informal statement in the left hand column and try to think of a formal alternative. 16. Inf. Inf. Inf. Inf. Tip: Try the passive voice. For. Form.. Form. And us? We should use water more carefully at home. 13. Inf. A possible formal alternative from the evidence presented above. Inf. everyone.. I will look at. 17. 18. 4.