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Teach English in Dinghuo Zhen - Yangzhou Shi
Communicating and speaking English fluently with English speakers on overseas trips or elsewhere is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences for learners after months or even years of trying to learn English that relieves language difficulties. However, a lack of understanding between formal and informal conversations regarding the situation and the audience can diminish the sweetness of this communication and have the opposite effect. But, what is the difference between formal and informal spoken and written language? Depending on the condition, English conversation can be classified into three levels Formal, Intermediate, or Informal, in which every language learner must have a good understanding of them. The majority of learners, often thinking that the formal conversation is more polite and respectful, and they usually try to use this level, but not only this type of language level not suitable for most circumstances but also shows the distance or lack of interest in establishing a friendly relationship between two or more conversation participants. Only for formal occasions such as job interviews, communicating with older people, business meetings for the first time, the formal conversation is highly advised and it is the best choice among three types of language levels mentioned before. It is worth mentioning, however, that as much as a formal conversation is unnecessary in informal situations and may lead to dissatisfaction, the use of informal literature on formal occasions can be considered as a disrespectful manner. Therefore, in new situations where there is no assurance that the conversation environment is formal or informal, the most cautious decision is to use a medium or neutral level which is a mix of both formal and informal language. The most rational way is to discover the relative expectation of the environment and level of the conversation needed in all the new situations before taking part and then finding the proper language for such an environment. Here are a few examples of language types that we normally use on different occasions: 1. We were wondering if you could make yourself available on Monday to provide us with more detailed guidance regarding the company’s next project. 2. Do you have time on Monday to share with us some information about the company’s next project? 3. You got time on Monday to give us some info about the company’s next project? Three sentences with an almost equal meaning but with a different formation that we can use based on the situation and the type of conversation we are participating in. The first sentence is formal, indicating respect, courtesy and, of course, the lack of closeness between the two parties. The second sentence is Neutral and can be classified into both formal and informal. The third sentence is Informal, which represents the closeness between the two sides of the conversation, unlike the first sentence, there is a slight amount of effort to show the formality and acceptance of the speaker, suggesting a more friendly communication and relaxing environment. Sentences in the formal English conversations are made longer by using more complex and literal words, while at the neutral and informal level the sentences are usually much more simple in structure and are created using ordinary and everyday words. Notice the following examples: 4. You are required to collect your belongings and vacate the building. 5. You need to take your personal properties and leave the flat. 6. Get your stuff and get out. The first sentence, using the five keywords Required, Collect, Belongings, Vacate, and the building has a much more complex structure than the other two, and it is categorized into literary and formal sentences. The second sentence represents the middle level of language between these three sentences and has no structural similarity of words with the other two sentences. The third sentence is quite simple, for example, instead of the ‘Belongings’ in the first sentence, it uses ‘Stuff’, which is simple and more informal and uses the two-part 'Get Out' verb instead of 'Vacate' the building. Contractions, Slangs, and Phrasal Verbs are the significant differences that separate informal conversations from formal conversations. Other differences between formal and informal conversations include the use of Abbreviations in informal conversation. ‘FYI’ instead of ‘For Your Information’, ‘ASAP’ instead of ‘As Soon As possible’, ‘AKA’ instead of ‘Also Known As’, ‘BTW’ instead of ‘By The Way’, ‘bros’ for ‘brothers, and ‘CV’ instead of ‘curriculum vitae’ are just some of the acronyms that English speakers use in informal conversations in their everyday life. Understanding the similarities and differences between formal and informal conversations can certainly bring a better quality of communication and a more pleasant conversation to both parties.