Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6
    Post Thanks / Like

    Use of abbreviatures in informal letter [Please reply quickly]

    Hi!

    I'm a doubt again. I'm taking FCE this or next year and I have an exercise for English' class in which you have to write a letter to an imaginary friend, who lives in an English-speaking country.It's an informal letter introducing myself (Where do I live, my studies,etc)

    May I use this abbreviatures (remember it's for a friend):

    'ol - All
    'm gonna - 'm going to
    lil' - Little
    should've - should have
    How're - how are
    'cause - because
    tellin'- telling

    hank you for your replies

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,903
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Use of abbreviatures in informal letter [Please reply quickly]

    In a real letter, it would be fine, but I wouldn't do too much of it in FCE. If you look at sample letters, they use contractions, but generally don't use gonna/wanna, etc. My advice would be not to make it too informal for the purposes of the exam.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Use of abbreviatures in informal letter [Please reply quickly]

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    In a real letter, it would be fine, but I wouldn't do too much of it in FCE. If you look at sample letters, they use contractions, but generally don't use gonna/wanna, etc. My advice would be not to make it too informal for the purposes of the exam.
    Thank you. Anyway it's not for the exam, it's a simply exercise for class. I think that will be OK. It'll sound better "'m goin'to" that "'m gonna"? Remember it is like if you're sending to a friend.

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    15,626
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Use of abbreviatures in informal letter [Please reply quickly]

    Quote Originally Posted by JuanKB View Post
    Thank you. Anyway it's not for the exam, it's a simply exercise for class. I think that will be OK. It'll sound better "'m goin'to" that "'m gonna"? Remember it is like if you're sending to a friend.
    I get your point, but remember this. The pronunciation that we use in speech is accented by facial expressions, pauses, hand gestures, etc. In letters, things are different. People can read real words in sentences. They do not need to read dialect just because they can listen to it. Were I your teacher, I would not be impressed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,553
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Use of abbreviatures in informal letter [Please reply quickly]

    Generally, you only write things like "gonna" or "goin'" if you have some reason for wanting to record somebody's non-standard speech patterns. For example:

    He opened his mouth and said, "Listen, buddy, I'm gonna bust your ass!" That's when I realised he was not only angry, but American.

    Otherwise, we don't write like that. We do write established contractions like "shouldn't" or "they've", but otherwise, even in very informal contexts, people tend to write "going to", not "gonna".

    If you browse some English-language message boards, you'll find that "gonna", "wanna" and similar expressions almost never appear, except perhaps for humorous effect. (You will see lots of typing errors, but they're not deliberate.) If you use these expressions in a personal letter, you will probably appear insincere or uneducated -- even if the person you are writing to actually speaks like that.

    Another point: Be careful when trying to use slang, either written or spoken. If you get it exactly right, people will be impressed; but if you get it even a tiny little bit wrong, people will just laugh at you.

  6. #6
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    15,626
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Use of abbreviatures in informal letter [Please reply quickly]

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    Generally, you only write things like "gonna" or "goin'" if you have some reason for wanting to record somebody's non-standard speech patterns. For example:

    He opened his mouth and said, "Listen, buddy, I'm gonna bust your ass!" That's when I realised he was not only angry, but American.

    Otherwise, we don't write like that. We do write established contractions like "shouldn't" or "they've", but otherwise, even in very informal contexts, people tend to write "going to", not "gonna".

    If you browse some English-language message boards, you'll find that "gonna", "wanna" and similar expressions almost never appear, except perhaps for humorous effect. (You will see lots of typing errors, but they're not deliberate.) If you use these expressions in a personal letter, you will probably appear insincere or uneducated -- even if the person you are writing to actually speaks like that.

    Another point: Be careful when trying to use slang, either written or spoken. If you get it exactly right, people will be impressed; but if you get it even a tiny little bit wrong, people will just laugh at you.
    Another point: Be careful when trying to use slang, either written or spoken. If you get it exactly right, people will be impressed; but if you get it even a tiny little bit wrong, people will just laugh at you.

    That is an excellent point. I have noticed that people who are normally very patient with someone who has difficulty speaking the language become very impatient if the speaker is trying too hard to sound hip or cool.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Use of abbreviatures in informal letter [Please reply quickly]

    Thank you a lot, I had to give my teacher this exercise yesterday afternoon and I read your points after giving him. Hopefully I used "'m going to"

    It's a good starting:

    "Hi, Tommy:

    How're you? i'm writing to you 'cause of the last e-mail you sent me"?

    Thank you so much

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,903
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Use of abbreviatures in informal letter [Please reply quickly]

    I'd definitely use 'I'm writing'.

Similar Threads

  1. formal and informal letter
    By khorshed in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Jun-2006, 13:29

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •