November 18th, 2010 in Improve English
People speak and write in different ways on different occasions. There are, however, some words and structures which are mainly used in formal situations – for example report writing, business meetings, conferences, polite conversations etc.
There are also some words and expressions which are mainly used in informal situations – conversations with friends etc.
In writing, we almost always use formal words and expressions. Speech, on the other hand, is often more informal.
Some grammatical structures have two forms – formal and informal.
For example, in informal speech and writing we use contracted auxiliary verbs and negatives.
Formal: It is working.
Informal: It’s working.
Informal: He‘s gone.
Formal: He has gone.
In informal language prepositions often come at the end of certain structures.
Formal: To which nation does he belong?
Informal: Which nation does he belong to?
Some determiners are followed by singular verbs in formal language and plural verbs in informal language.
Formal: Neither of us likes him.
Informal: Neither of us like him.
Some pronouns have different forms in formal and informal language.
Formal: Whom did they elect?
Informal: Who did they elect?
In informal language we often leave out words.
Formal: She said that she would come.
Informal: She said she would come.
Formal: Have you seen Annie?
Informal: Seen Annie?
Some words are mainly used in informal situations. In formal situations other words or expressions are used.
Begin / start commence
Thanks Thank you
What? / Pardon? / Sorry? I beg your pardon?