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Difference Between Formal and Informal Writings


How you write is just as important as what you write. Whether you use formal or informal language, it should be appropriate for your audience and setting. Utilizing colloquialisms in formal settings is not a good idea if you want your message to resonate. In a similar vein, when you are writing about something lighthearted, amusing, or playful, you should avoid using formal language.

However, what exactly distinguishes formal and informal writing styles? In this blog, we’ll talk about that. To help you distinguish between formal and informal writing, our eduhelphub expert will also provide you with examples.

A Brief Overview of Formal and Informal Writing Language

The primary distinction between formal and informal writing language is that formal writing is more rigid and less personal, whereas informal writing is more relaxed and adaptable. Whether to use formal or informal language depends on the content and audience of your writing. Informal writing is used in more casual settings, such as friendly text messages and creative writing, whereas formal language is typically reserved for professional and academic settings, according to https://essaywriterhelp.org/.

The differences between formal and informal writing are numerous. One of them is that while contractions are acceptable in informal writing, they shouldn’t be used in formal writing. Another significant distinction between formal and informal language is vocabulary.

What Distinguishes Informal Language from Formal Language?

Informal language is regarded as more casual than formal language. Additionally, informal language develops at a much faster rate than formal language. However, there are other notable differences between the two that are discussed below.

1. Contractions

While contractions—shortened forms of words—should be avoided in formal writing, they are acceptable in informal writing.

Formal: Unfortunately, the team was unable to replicate the outcomes.

Informal: Sadly, the team couldn’t replicate the outcomes.

2. First-person pronouns

When writing formally, first-person pronouns, such as “I” and “we” should generally be avoided. In informal speech, first-person pronouns are accepted and expected.

Formal: The questionnaire had to be filled out by the students.

Informal: We asked the students to complete the survey.

3. Slang and colloquial phrases

Formal language is devoid of colloquial phrases, while words and phrases commonly used in regular speech are used in informal writing.

Formal: I had a disappointing day.

Informal: I had a bummer of a day.

4. Phrasal Verbs

When writing in a formal setting, phrasal verbs should be replaced (proper verbs followed by one or more prepositions and function as a single verb).

Formal: The protesters were able to endure it.

Informal: The protesters were willing to put up with it.

5. Choice of Vocabulary

Formal language typically employs vocabulary that is longer and more complex. Depending on the content of your writing, it may not be recommended to use this kind of vocabulary with informal language because it may cause your audience to become confused or distracted.

Formal: While they were recovering from the effects of the tsunami, they required assistance.

Informal: They needed help while recovering from the effect of the tsunami.

6. Rules of Grammar

Adhere to all grammar rules, even those that are regarded as trivial when writing in formal settings. Some grammar rules can be ignored in casual settings. For instance, it is acceptable to use who rather than who in informal settings. However, when writing with formal language, it is not recommended to always use who instead of whom.

Formal: Who should I speak with?

Informal: Who should I talk to?

Deciding When to Use Informal and Formal Language

Keep in mind that your audience and the content of your writing will determine when to use formal or informal language in your writing. However, you should also be mindful that there is a continuum between formal and informal language and that some forms of writing can fall somewhere in between. Keep these distinctions in mind if you want your writing to be as effective as possible, regardless of the language you use, recommends the professional writers of penmypaper.