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Formal & Informal English

Formal English: We use it when writing essays for school, cover letters to apply for jobs, or emails and letters at work.

Informal English: We use it with friends, children, and relatives.

The following list will help you to recognize the informal and formal ways of saying the same thing. The list is divided into sections of: verbs, transitions, emphasis words, abbreviations, and slang.

Verbs – Informal & Formal

Informal Formal
say sorry apologize, apologise
go up increase
go down decrease
set up establish
look at examine
blow up explode
find out discover
bring about cause
put off postpone, delay
rack up accumulate
make up fabricate
stand for represent
find out discover, ascertain
leave out omit
point out indicate
go against oppose
get in touch with contact
It’s about It concerns, It’s in regards to
need to required
think about consider
get obtain
put up tolerate
deal with handle
seem appear
show demonstrate, illustrate, portray
start commence
keep retain
free release
get on someone’s nerves bother
ring up call
show up arrive
let permit
fill in substitute, inform
block undermine
give the go ahead, greenlight authorize, authorise


 

Transitions – Informal & Formal

Informal Formal
Anyways Nevertheless
Plus/Also Moreover/ Furthermore
But However
So Therefore/Thus
Also In addition, Additionally
ASAP as soon as possible/at your earliest convenience
Okay, OK acceptable
In the meantime In the interim
I think In my opinion,
In the end, Finally
To sum up In conclusion,
In a nutshell/Basically To summarize,
Anyway, Notwithstanding
All right Acceptable
Well,  
To top it all off,  
On top of it all,  
  In order to


 

Emphasis Words – Informal & Formal

Informal Formal
lots of/ a lot of much, many
tons of, heaps of large quantities of, a number of
totally completely, strongly
really, very definitely


 

Letter Expressions – Informal & Formal

Informal Formal
Hi Robert, Dear Sir or Madam
Just wanted to let you know… I am writing to inform you…
Love, Yours sincerely, Yours faithfully,
Cheers,  
Yours Truly, Best regards, kind regards  
Hope to hear from you soon I look forward to hearing from you
You can call me if you need anything Please do not hesitate to contact me


 

Abbreviations – Informal & Formal

Informal Formal
ASAP as soon as possible
T.V. television
photo photograph
cell cell phone
net Internet


 

Slang – Informal & Formal

Informal Formal
kids children
bad negative
good positive
really big considerable
right correct
wrong incorrect
smart intelligent
cheap inexpensive
loaded rich
 
 
Category: Problem Points | Added by: Teacher_Koce (2014-05-04)
Views: 1270 | Tags: bulgarian teacher, Teacher Koce, study english online
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