A Guide to Using Casual Language in Your Writing

Casual language, like casual clothes, could be used almost anywhere, like at a sports game, a party, or a get-together with friends or family.

Transformation: Casual English to Formal English

People you know and are more at ease with are more likely to utilize casual words. While using casual words in informal conditions, they should be avoided in more formal contexts.

See how these words transform from Casual to English.

Casual – Formal

  • Cuz – Because
  • Chill/chillin’- Relax/relaxing
  • Gonna – Going to
  • Sick – Great; amazing
  • Lame – Not good; worthless
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

 Practice your Casual English in the places below.

You’re allowed to…

  • Talk casually to the driver/pilot and the people seated next to you as you board a bus, rail, or plane
  • Converse with your classmates in the classroom or your coworkers in the office
  • Learn new words and phrases by listening to television shows/movies/music lyrics and writing them down.
  • Chat with strangers when doing your daily activities at the bank, the shop, or the post office.
  • Try talking on the phone with your friends or exchanging emails, texts, and letters

Importance of Casual Language

  • It’s vital to use casual language because it offers the listener a sense of intimacy and authenticity.
  • Make others feel at ease by displaying your individuality.
  • Saves time

A Real-World Setting for Learning Formal Language

Let us now turn our attention to the use of formal English. Formal English is used in these settings, and you can learn formal language from these instances:

  • Watching the news or participating in government debates.
  • Glancing at current publications and newspapers as well as scholarly articles, essays, and other nonfiction literature
  • Sifting through academic papers
  • Take a look at tutorials on interviews and meetings
  • Check out the proceedings at a public hearing or municipal council meeting

Importance of Formal Language

  • Gives credence to a situation’s gravity or relevance
  • Satisfies academic and professional standards
  • Clarifies the reader’s understanding

Tips For Formal Language

Grammar is more complicated in formal language, and sentences are often lengthier.

Modal verbs

Modal verbs are used in formal language. In this case, 

  • We would appreciate it if… 
  • Could you kindly notify us when.?

2. Pronouns are the fourth category.

The pronoun ‘we’ is more commonly used in formal language than ‘I.’ 


 [formal] I can help you with this issue. Please stay on the line.

[informal] We’re sorry to tell you that… 

[informal] We’d like to announce that…

3. Pronunciation.

The formal language calls for a more severe tone of voice and slower speech to ensure proper pronunciation.

4. Colloquial Language

This is not used in formal language. For example:

  • Would you like a cup of coffee? [formal] vs. a tall chilled glass of beer? [informal]
  • ‘Would you have…’ [formal] vs. ‘Do you want….’ [informal]

5. Using Emojis in a Formal Setting Is Not Allowed!

To Wrap Up

Casual English is spoken by people who do not expect to be understood by anyone. It relaxes and has a light, friendly and informal feel to it.

On the other hand, formal English is spoken by people who want to be understood by everyone. It is serious and businesslike. 

Hopefully, you have learned how to tell them apart and how to express yourself in style anywhere!

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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