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What is the difference between formal and informal English ?

Hello !

I want to know the difference between Formal and Informal English

I had read that the informal ( the English of people ) is the formal English + some slang words !

I have been learning English , I'm at advanced level . How can I also know that I use formal or informal English ?

This is an important question for me , guys

thank you .

April 27, 2017



In casual English, we use contractions very often (e.g. can't, I'll, it's) whereas in more formal situations, the full words are used.

We also use words such as gonna for going to, kinda for kind of or cus for because.You'll also hear shortened words or phrases such as 'Sup?' or 'How's it going?' instead of 'How are you'.

If speaking English with a native, you shouldn't expect them to always use proper grammar or speak in full sentences because, often times, they don't bother or can't remember all the rules. You need to listen to natural informal conversations to familiarise yourself with all the words or contractions, which may vary from country to country.


Now I understand ! thank you so much ^^ .


I forgot all the rules, even though Im like a Grammar Nazi in English at school


In my academic essays when I write in English I always use cannot or can not instead of can't, or I will instead of I'll.


Something that the others have not mentioned is that formal English is used a lot more in writing than talking. Formal writing is in reports, essays and research papers in schools and at work and non-fiction work. Informal writing is in the dialogue in fiction books and other writing where native speakers are being quoted. Basically, formal English is not used in everyday talking much unless you are in a business meeting or something of that sort. If you talked formal all the time, people would think you were strange.


I'm not sure what you're asking. Is there a specific sentence/phrase you would like to know about?


How to greet someone in formal English: "Hello, good day. How are you?"
How to greet someone in informal English: "Yo wad up ma' main homie ya chillin?"
How to curse in formal English: "Blimey!"
How to curse in informal English: " [This content has been removed for obscenities] "


Yo waddup fam u funny here some lingots bro



Formal English uses correct grammar and "posher" words. Informal English has looser grammar (such as using "who" where you should use "whom"), contractions (such as "can't" for "cannot"), and more casual words (eg "gut" for "abdomen"). The next level down would be outright slang. Depending on where it comes from, even as a native English speaker some dialect slang is very difficult to understand.


Informal English is basically the way that most English speakers speak day-to-day. Formal English is words like: 'Sir! Are you okay!'


I'd consider 'okay' to be an informal word.


For instance, if you met an official person at work or something, you would say Hello, Mr. ___. What can I do for you?" But if you saw your friend you'd clap him on the back and say, "What's up, man? It's been a while!"


Yes , that's exactly what I'm asking . Thank you .

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