English writing: Formal and informal

English writing: Formal and informal

English writing: Formal and informal

English writing: Formal and informal. Truth be told, we are not as formal as you think, especially Americans. Not only that, but if you are still using very formal language with me after we have known each other for some time, I may feel offended. Formal language can be seen as cold and distant. So, I’m not saying forget everything your teachers have taught you, if you need to write a cover letter, a formal complaint or a first email to a new client, formal language is the way to go. But, once you have a relationship, lighten up.

REASON FOR WRITING

  • Formal: In relation to our previous email…
    • In relation to our previous email, we are willing to reduce the shipping charges.
  • Informal: Just to follow up on our chat…
    • Just to follow up on chat, we are happy to reduce the shipping charge.
  • Formal: I’m writing to inform you…
    • I’m writing to inform you that you have been accepted into the University of Chicago.
  • Informal: Just to let you know…
    • Just to let you know – I got in! I’m going to UofC!
  • Formal: We are delighted to inform you that.
    • We are delighted to inform you that your request has been accepted.
  • Informal: Guess what…
    • Guess what! We just got your package today.

ATTACHMENTS

  • Formal: Please find attached
    • Please find attached the documents you requested.
  • Informal: I’m attaching / I’ve attached
    • I’m attaching the documents to asked for.
    • I’ve attached the documents here.

REQUESTS

  • Formal: Please take into account…
    • Please take into account that the meeting starts at 10 am.
  • Informal: Don’t forget to…
    • Don’t forget to join the meeting at 10.

CLOSING AN EMAIL

  • Formal: I look forward to seeing you on Monday.
  • Informal: See you on Monday. Hope to see you on Monday.

English Writing

Now that you have seen English writing: Formal and informal, have a look at our other Writing Rules posts:
Writing Rules: Gerunds that follow to
Writing Rules: Giving advice