What is Formal Language and Where to Use It?

What is formal language? That’s the first question that comes…

What is formal language? That’s the first question that comes to mind when trying to pick a tone. So let’s answer the question.

What is Formal Language?

man wearing a black suit, brown leather shoes and a watch.
Photo by Jeremy Beadle on Unsplash

When addressing someone we do not know or respect, we use the formal style of speech and writing.

Formal language is commonly used in work-related correspondence and other formal communications. Formal language serves as a form of official correspondence, used in the business world and academic circles.

It is helpful in navigating formal conversations, such as those between employers and employees, between teachers and students, and between shop managers.

Generally speaking, formal language uses standard English. Additionally, sentences have more complex structures, personal pronouns are rarely used, and colloquial or slang terms are seldom found.

Difference Between Informal and Formal Language

There are different uses for formal and informal language. Language choice, tone, and ways the words are put together vary between styles.

A language that is formal is less personal. When writing for professional or academic purposes, such as university assignments, it is favorable.

The language of formal words is not based on colloquialisms, contractions, or first-person pronouns such as ‘I’ or ‘We’.

A language that is informal and spontaneous is more casual. When communicating with friends or family, either through written correspondence or conversation, it is helpful.

Informal language is used to write personal emails, text messages, and occasionally business correspondence. Informal language evokes more personal feelings than formal language. 

Grammar is more intricate, and sentences are generally longer in formal languages. 

Where to Use Formal Language?

Formal language is most appropriate for any formal occasion- academia, conferences, debates, public speeches, interviews. Use formal language when you need to explain a topic or idea to a teacher, a classmate, or the public. 

When to use formal English at work will depend on your business, industry, and topic. You should avoid any mistakes and sound professional when working from a foreign country or with people you know. Formal language facilitates this.

Use formal language when you need to explain a topic or idea to a teacher, a classmate, or the public. If you are teaching your readers, you should use a serious and exciting form of language. Explanatory essays, research reports, and other academic works are best suited to this language.

You might say something that will add weight to what you are saying or sound more impressive or sophisticated using formal vocabulary. If this is the case, you should generally resist doing that. When you use formal English in everyday situations, it can feel pompous or grandiose. You may make what you have written appear humorous by using formal vocabulary deliberately to create the effect.

To Wrap Up

Formal language is a language that is used with a proper protocol between two people.

It’s often used in business meetings or in professional settings because it sets up the situation for safe and productive conversation. This language is different than informal language, which is often how people speak to one another in everyday life.

If you are not sure to use either formal or informal language, you should stay on the safe side and use formal language. No one is going to be offended by formality, however, your professor may not take your informal tone kindly!

Frequently asked questions

Which of these situations would need a formal language?

For example, when you’re interviewing for a job or emailing your university professor, formal language is used in situations that are more serious. When speaking to someone you don’t know very well, you may want to make sure you’re respectful.

What is an example of a formal sentence?

They are attending the meeting tomorrow. They are attending tomorrow’s meeting. We also use many different words to convey the same ideas.

What is formal writing style?

An objective approach is used to write formal texts. Arguments are usually used to explain major points. Writing that is formal is less likely to be emotional. Consequently, emotive punctuation such as exclamation points or ellipsis are avoided if they are being cited from another source.

What is formal language example?

The grammar is more complex and sentences are generally longer in formal languages. The delivery will be delayed because of adverse weather conditions (informal) Sorry, but the delivery will also be delayed due to adverse weather.

What’s in formal language?

It has some similarities between formal languages and natural languages: formal languages have an alphabet. For example, math uses specific symbols and characters (such as, 1, a, +, =), much like English uses specific letters. Languages from formal eras use their alphabets to form strings, rather than words.

What is an example of formal writing?

When you need to write professionally (reaching out to a client or prospect) Academic writings (essays, research papers, etc.) Job applications (resumes, CVs, and cover letters) Reaching out to.

How do you write a formal sentence?

  • Do not use pronouns in first person (“I,” “me”, “my,” “we,” “us,” etc.).
  • Don’t address readers as “you.”.
  • Avoid using contractions
  • Stay away from colloquialism and slang expressions.
  • Avoid nonstandard diction
  • Avoid abbreviations of words.
  • Use short and simple sentences sparingly.

Where is formal writing usually used?

It is appropriate to use a formal piece of writing when we don’t have any idea of the person, when we know the person but haven’t exchanged words, or when we are unfamiliar with the person who receives the. This is done in a formal way that indicates dignified and deferential regard for the reader.

What is informal language and when do we use it?

Languages that are informal and spontaneous are more casual. 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, this is used. Languages that are informal are more personal than formal ones.

What are the characteristics of formal language?

Languages with formal meanings feature standard English, complex sentence structures, infrequent use of personal pronouns, and lack of colloquial or slang terms.

What is formal English used for?

In “serious” texts and situations, such as official documents, books, news reports, articles, business letters, or official speeches, formal English is employed. The language is used in both everyday conversations and personal correspondence.

What is difference between formal and informal?

Informal language is casual and spontaneous, not using colloquialisms, contractions, or first-person pronouns such as “I” or “We.”. As a way of communicating with friends or family, a conversation is used.

Why should formal language be used?

How to use formal language. Use formal language when teaching, sharing information with a classmate, or the public. As if you were teaching your readers, your formal language is serious and interesting. Explanatory essays, academic reports, and other academic writing use this language.

What is Formal Language and Where to Use It?

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.

Writing a Formal Letter for Leave Application

Looking to write a formal letter for leave application? That’s not surprising. What is a Leave Application? Allowing for a…

May 19, 2022

When to Use a Formal Warning Letter

Are you wondering when to write a formal warning letter? What is a Formal Warning Letter? A warning letter is…

May 19, 2022

Writing a Subject Line in Formal Letters

Writing a subject in a formal letter is not as complex as you imagined. What is the Subject Line in…

May 19, 2022

Writing a Cover Letter for a Report

Are you looking to write a cover letter for formal report? You’re in luck — this article explores the detail.…

May 19, 2022

A Guide to Salutation of a Formal Letter

Salutation of a formal letter can exist in various forms. What Is a Salutation? A salutation is the greeting used…

May 19, 2022

Learn to Cite Formal Letter Enclosure

For people who send business letters on a regular basis, knowing how to cite a formal letter enclosure is essential.…

May 19, 2022

Write a Request Letter for Hotel Reservation

It’s best to prepare a formal letter for a hotel reservation ahead of time to prevent the stress of last-minute…

May 19, 2022

Guide to Formal 30 Days Notice Letter

If you want to notify your landlord about your desire to leave your rental home, you should give formal notice.…

May 19, 2022

How to Write a Withdrawal from School Letter

Sometimes, you can’t prevent it. You need to write a formal withdrawal letter from school for your child. This could…

May 19, 2022