Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 18
    #1

    Formal or informal?

    I am asked to rewrite some sentences, making some formal and some informal.
    My question is, what is appropriate when trying to make a sentence informal?
    Am I allowed to use phrasal verbs or must I stick to just diminutives?
    (I understand what is formal and informal, but I am seeking clarification as to what is acceptable in classroom assignments.)

    For example, is using phrases like 'help me out' or 'give a hand' in informal sentences okay?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,515
    #2

    Re: Formal or informal?

    Have you read the Similar Threads below?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,104
    #3

    Re: Formal or informal?

    "(I understand what is formal and informal, but I am seeking clarification as to what is acceptable in classroom assignments.)"

    I'd assume that any correct answer to the question is acceptable. Since you know the difference, this should be easy. The only thing I wouldn't do is use swear words, or anything your teacher could reasonably object to.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 18
    #4

    Re: Formal or informal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Have you read the Similar Threads below?
    I read some of them, they did not mention phrasal verbs, diminutives or sentence structures. Hence the question.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,515
    #5

    Re: Formal or informal?

    Some phrasal verbs are informal, but many are neutral and can be used in any kind of writing.

    In general, avoid contractions in formal writing (isn't/won't/didn't/can't).

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 18
    #6

    Re: Formal or informal?

    I asked because my writing came under a lot of criticism for using too many phrasal verbs, I was told they made my writing appear unprofessional.
    Having written in a country where the first language is not English, I suppose it made my writing look a little odd. I was taught from my childhood that formal writing is the safest way to be grammatically correct (haven't explored neutral yet). But after reading a lot of books, I started using phrasal verbs in my writings, to make it appear less stilted.

    I suppose it's more of a cultural difference. Since I only catch glimpses of yours from books and movies, there are times when it is unclear what is appropriate and what isn't.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,919
    #7

    Re: Formal or informal?

    Understanding the differences to which you refer comes with years of practice and from becoming a near-native speaker. Living in an English-speaking country will, eventually, help you to distinguish between these various forms.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 10-Jul-2015 at 18:32. Reason: Fixing typo.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Aug 2008
    • Posts: 599
    #8

    Re: Formal or informal?

    This (formal vs informal) is somewhat confusing for me too. I remember listening to a speech by President Ronald Reagan on Voice of America in 1984. He ended the speech by saying "you ain't seen nothing yet" (or perhaps "you ain't seen nothin' yet"). I was very surprised because to me a presidential speech is very formal and this phrase seemed to be far from formal. The speech is now on youtube. The phrase occurs at the end (22:20 - 22:25).

    The last sentence of his speech was - “We can say to the world and pledge to our children, America’s best days lie ahead, and you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Use of this informal phrase at the end of a sentence with a formal word such as "pledge" seemed incongruous to me. But I am sure he struck a chord with the audience.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 18
    #9

    Re: Formal or informal?

    Exactly! Here, I cannot imagine people addressing large crowds so informally.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,919
    #10

    Re: Formal or informal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    This (formal vs informal) is somewhat confusing for me too. I remember listening to a speech by President Ronald Reagan on Voice of America in 1984. He ended the speech by saying "you ain't seen nothing yet" (or perhaps "you ain't seen nothin' yet"). I was very surprised because to me a presidential speech is very formal and this phrase seemed to be far from formal. The speech is now on youtube. The phrase occurs at the end (22:20 - 22:25).

    The last sentence of his speech was - “We can say to the world and pledge to our children, America’s best days lie ahead, and you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Use of this informal phrase at the end of a sentence with a formal word such as "pledge" seemed incongruous to me. But I am sure he struck a chord with the audience.
    Such phrases are used by people making public speeches because those phrases are so well-known. That one comes from a very famous pop song by Bachman Turner Overdrive in 1974. Just about everyone in the English-speaking world would recognise it. It has the added benefit (some would say) of making politicians appear to be in touch with popular culture.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. formal and informal
    By david11 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Jul-2012, 08:07
  2. formal or informal
    By sky753 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Sep-2010, 07:51
  3. formal informal
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Jun-2008, 23:03
  4. Help for formal-informal
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-Jun-2008, 21:19
  5. Formal and informal
    By zaed_salah in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 15-Apr-2006, 06:15

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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