formal or informal english

The Appropriate Tone: FORMAL or INFORMAL English?

The English Language is an international medium of interaction for various business activities. Whether to use formal or informal English depends on where, when, and whom you speak.

To avoid any embarrassment and awkwardness, it is highly recommended that one sense the room’s vibe and decide which form of English language fits most appropriately. 

Formal VS Informal English

  • Formal English

Although it may seem too obvious, it’s good to remember that formal English is less personal than informal English.

Since it is less personal, it can be used in public speeches and tenders when you interact with a person you know on professional terms. Formal English is used primarily for academic or professional purposes.

Therefore, we can agree that formal English is commonly used in: 

However, in everyday contexts, formal English might sound arrogant at times, so always consider the context and the target audience before choosing any tone to express yourself in English (or in any other language hehe).

One must never forget that there is a much more complicated grammar in the formal Language where sentences are typically phrased longer and use modal verbs.

In pronunciation, when using formal English, speech is slower, and the tone should be proper and serious.


  • Informal English

Informal English is more laid back and easy going. This type of English is widely used when you talk with your friends and family members as well as with people you know personally. You commonly use this while you are in a comfortable setting. It would help if you used the terminology suitable for your agenda to express your personal thoughts or share a story. 

There are not any particular strict rules to follow for informal English. This is because it has more of a conversational style, often using personal pronouns, casual gestures, shorter sentences, and contractions («Ain’t»)

This type of language seems to fit perfectly for:

In Informal English, contractions are used to ease the flow and make expression quicker. To simplify the words, Abbreviations and Acronyms are also used. In order to allow the natural flow of speech, Idiomatic Language is often used.

When using Informal Language in texting, you can also insert an Emoji here and there ???

Main Differences Between Formal and Informal English

  • Grammar 

It is observed that the grammar used in the Formal English language is far more complex, and sentences are much longer than in Informal English. Many people tend to ignore the correct use of punctuation: commas, semicolons and apostrophes when they write an informal Message.    

  • Pronunciation

The tone is mostly serious with much clarity in your pronunciation and generally has a slower speech with Formal English. However, with informal English, the tone can keep changing with much influence on speech speed. 

  • Vocabulary 

There are many extended terminologies in Formal English. Simultaneously, Informal English uses more Phrasal Verbs, shortened words and simpler terminology.

  • Pronouns 

While informal English is quite personal and close, the formal English language is not, but instead much more likely to use ‘We’ as a pronoun. For example, We request for your cooperation.”   

  • Contractions 

Formal English forbids the use of contractions. However, for more effortless reading flow and faster speed, informal English allows the use of contractions. For instance, instead of ‘I have’ one can simply write ‘I’ve’.


  • Emojis 

With the widespread use of smartphones, the masses have started using emojis to replace words. However, this is strictly not allowed in the formal written English language. It requires you to maintain the quality and integrity of the message. 

Phrasal Verbs vs Formal Word


In Closing…

English is a complete language with provision to be used as a Formal or Informal medium of communication. The tone of the language depends on the demand of the situation: context and target

For effective communication, it is essential to take care of your language’s nature and apply some common sense to figure out whether using that Phrasal Verbs or that shortened word is appropriate in that specific situation.

Cheers! ?

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