formal vs informal usage

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Formal vs Informal usage. Stylistic variations. TESL 2200 Lecture 5. V ocabulary Quiz. For each of the six questions choose the one correct answer. 1. Dear Mr Smith, We are sorry to _____ that... a) say you b) let you know c) inform you d) explain you. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Formal vs Informal usageStylistic variationsTESL 2200 Lecture 5

  • Vocabulary QuizFor each of the six questions choose the one correct answer.1. Dear Mr Smith, We are sorry to _____ that...a) say youb) let you knowc) inform youd) explain you

  • 2. Thank you for bringing this _____ to my attention.a) thingb) matterc) stuffd) items

  • 3. I am extremely _____ the service I received...a) dissatisfied withb) dissatisfied fromc) cross aboutd) cross for

  • 4. Hi John, how's it going? _____ my holiday in Spain.a) I am writing to give you some details regarding...b) I intend to describe...c) I want to tell you about...d) I'd like to say you...

  • 5. As you will see from my CV, I have _____ experience in this area.a) masses ofb) a considerable amount ofc) loads ofd) great

  • 6. That's all for now. See you tonight! _______ , Mary xxxxa) Yours faithfullyb) Yours sincerelyc) Best wishd) Love

  • Dress with style

  • Styles of language

    Styles are varieties of language which can be ranged on a continuum ranging from very formal to very informal.

  • Formal vs. informal style

    Formal styles are used in social situations which are formal, and informal styles are used in social situations which are informal.

  • Formal vs. informal style

    A typical formal language might be the sentence read out by a judge at the end of a trial.

    A typical informal speech would be produced in a relaxed conversation among close friends or family members.

  • When to use formal EnglishHave you ever? Sent a note to schoolOrdered something from a catalogueWritten away for a brochureApplied for a job in writingWritten a letter of complaint

  • Written to a newspaperWritten to your employerWritten to your accountantWritten a report for an insurance companyWritten to a bankOther

  • Formal vs. informal styleA formal style will be characterized by detachment, precision, and "objectivity", but also rigidity and cognitive load;

    An informal style will be much lighter in form, more flexible, direct, and involved, but correspondingly more subjective, less accurate and less informative.

  • Advantages of being formal

    More formal messages have less chance to be misinterpreted by others who do not share the same context as the sender.

  • Validity or comprehensibility of formal messages will extend over wider contexts: more people, longer time spans, more diverse circumstances, etc.

  • Disadvantages of being formal

    Formal speech is more static or rigid, and will less easily accommodate to phenomena that demand expressions with a meaning different from the ones found in dictionaries.

  • Disadvantage of being formal

    Informal speech, by definition, is flexible: meanings shift when the context changes.

  • Formal speech is structurally more complex. Therefore, formal expressions require more time, attention and cognitive processing to be produced and understood.

  • Formality and the language producer

    Speech is likely to be more formal if the speaker is male, introverted and/or of a high education level.

  • Stylistic differences in lexis Consider the differences between

    Father was exceedingly fatigued subsequent to his extensive peregrination.

    Dad was very tired after his lengthy journey.

    The old man was bloody knackered after his long trip .

  • Some examples of formal and informal English wordsfelicitations = congratulations to the bride; indisposed= ill; erudite = well-read; abscond= run away, flit; remorseful = sad;

  • condescending=snobbish; consanguinary= related; distinguish between = tell the difference;contributed = gave; euphoria = happiness.

  • ConclusionThe degree of formality of a speech-style will depend on the requirements of the situation, but that there will still be a subjective element, depending on whether the sender prefers accuracy over immediacy, detachment over involvement,or fears possible misinterpretation more than additional cognitive load.

  • All the languages of the world would appear to demonstrate some degree of stylistic differentiation in this sense, reflecting the wide range of social relationships and social situations found, to a greater or lesser extent, in all human societies.

  • Task 1: Which one is formal and which one is informal?

    1.totally opposed to 2.throughly approve of 3.I'm all for 4.I'm a great supporter of 5.don't approve of 6. dead against 7.all for

  • Task 2: formal or informal letter?Read the following two letters and give examples of phrases that are specifically formal and informal

    What makes this letter formal or informal?

  • Dear Anne Thanks ever so much for your letter. It was lovely to hear from you after all this time. Were all keeping well here. Andy has left school now, though he hasnt got a job yet Im afraid. Hows life with you? Wed love to see you all again. Why dont you spend a weekend with us when youre free? Give my love to Dave and the kids Love, Sue x

  • Dear Mrs Smith Thank you for your letter concerning my National Insurance contributions. I confirm that I am able to attend for the interview on 15th November 2003 as requested. Yours sincerely S JOHNSON (Ms)

  • Is clear and gives exact details I confirm that I am able to attend for the interviewIs brief and to the point - Is cool, polite and business-like as requestedIt is not chattySounds more formal

  • Task 3: Re-write them in formal language

    Hope to see you soonWrite back soon and let me knowHi! How are you doing?Give my love to the kidsDont forget to send me some more samplesDont worry, it wont happen again I assure you

  • Task 4: Change the words which are underlined for a word or phraseThe first one is done as an exampleI got your letter of 15.6.03 about my insurance claimHere you could say: I received your letter concerning my insurance claim

    When I took back the vacuum cleaner .

  • I have got hold of a copy of your brochureI have ordered the goods as you askedI am not happy with the repair workPlease send me the right formI have put in a Postal Order for 15I would a like a new one

  • I found that the lens was brokenIt was bought on 16.03.2003I ought to get my money backI am not paying until the work is carried outI should like to arrange to come and see youPlease let me have a sample copy

  • am entitled todissatisfiedreceived obtaineddiscovered forwardenclose concerningAs requestedappropriatereturned a refundpurchased make an appointment withholding payment

  • Task 5: Who wrote this letter?

    What kind of letter is it?What is the main purpose of the letter?Is this a formal or informal letter?Look at this letter and write down what is wrong with it.

  • XxxDear Bank ManagerI hope you are well and your business is ok. My business isnt good so I need your help. I want about 10,000 so that I can do some repairs to my shop and buy some things I need.I want you to loan me some money and I will pay it back later when my business gets betterLet me know asap.Thank you for your helpxxx

  • Formal or informal?

    I am sorry to inform you that... phrasal verbs I am very grateful for... Why don't we... I will not be able to attend the...

  • idioms and slang contracted verb forms like we've, I'm, etc. Give my regards to... I look forward to hearing from you... Let me know as soon as... short sentences

  • KeyI am sorry to inform you that... F phrasal verbs I I am very grateful for... F Why don't we... I I will not be able to attend the... F

  • idioms and slang I contracted verb forms like we've, I'm, etc. I Give my regards to... F I look forward to hearing from you... F Let me know as soon as... I short sentences I

  • Dear Tom, Dear Ms Smithers, Best wishes, Yours faithfully, I'm really sorry I...

  • Unfortunately, we will have to postpone... We had a little bit of luck... Our computers are used for a variety... I use my pencil sharper for... polite phrases fewer passive verb forms

  • KeyDear Tom, I Dear Ms Smithers, F Best wishes, I Yours faithfully, F I'm really sorry I... I

  • Unfortunately, we will have to postpone... F We had a little bit of luck... I Our computers are used for a variety... F I use my pencil sharper for... I polite phrases F fewer passive verb forms I

    Speakers are able to influence and change the degree of formality of a social situation by manipulation of stylistic choice.

    different people express themselves in different ways, and that

    the same person may express the same idea quite differently when addressing different audiences, using different modalities, or tackling different tasks (cf. Bell, 1984, 1997).

    Everybody makes at least an intuitive distinction between formal and informal manners of expression.

    This is clearly exemplified by written language, where there is no direct contact between sender and receiver, and hence a much smaller sharing of context than in speech. We should thus expect written language in general to be more formal than spoken language.

    This makes it easier for formally expressed knowledge to maintain and spread over many different persons, groups or cultures (Heylighen 1993).

    This is particularly useful when phenomena are to be described for which no clear expression is available in the language as yet. By using eminently context-dependent expressions like "it" or "that thing there", it is possible to r