Teach English in Chengnan - Taizhou Shi

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Formal and informal language serve different purposes. The tone, the choice of words and the way the words are put together vary between the two styles. The focus of this essay is to differentiate between formal and informal language by looking at it’s tone, style, syntax, purpose as well as examples illustrating the language. Formal language is less personal than informal language. It is used when writing for professional or academic purposes like university assignments or business letters or emails. Formal language does not use colloquialisms for example “ain’t”,“cool”,“gonna”; it does not use contractions such as “didn’t”, “couldn’t”, “haven’t” and so on or first person pronouns such as ‘I’ or ‘We’. Formal language is more prevalent when one writes. Formal writing uses longer sentences that are very thorough. Each point is clearly introduced and concluded. Formal writing clearly states the primary point and offers supporting information. It avoids emotions or emotive language or punctuation like ellipses and exclamation points, unless being cited from another source. Formal writing requires full, complete sentences. No words should be simplified or contracted. Abbreviations are spelled out in full when first read. Formal writing is not personal. This means the writer is not connected to the topic and will not use a first or second person point of view. On the other hand, informal language is more casual and spontaneous. It is used when communicating with friends or family either in writing or in conversation. It is used when writing personal emails, text messages and in some business correspondence. The tone of informal language is more casual, relaxed and personal than formal language. Informal writing is similar to conversational English. It might include slang for example “Bye Felicia” which means someone should go away or “bae” which means someone’s significant other; figures of speech like alliteration (The repetition of an initial consonant sound), anaphora (The repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or verses), antithesis (the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in balanced phrases), apostrophe (directly addressing a nonexistent person or an inanimate object as though it were a living being), chiasmus (A verbal pattern in which the second half of an expression is balanced against the first but with the parts reversed), euphemism (The substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered offensively explicit), hyperbole (The use of exaggerated terms for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect), irony (The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. Also, a statement or situation where the meaning is contradicted by the appearance or presentation of the idea) , metaphor (An implied comparison between two dissimilar things that have something in common) and so on. Informal writing has a more personal tone, similar to if you were to speak directly to your audience. Informal writing uses shorter sentence, and some of them might be incomplete. Informal writing consists of words that might be simplified or contracted and allows for the display of emotion or empathy such as “Awww” or “Yipee!”. To conclude, there is a difference between informal and formal language as they are both used for different purposes.