Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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Everyday English 1

2 Formal and informal language

Contrasting a formal and an informal situation
Figure 21 A formal and informal situation

The term ‘formal language’ can sound intimidating. When told you have to take part in an assessment of your formal discussion skills, your immediate response might be to avoid it.

However, a formal discussion does not mean you have to be involved in a discussion where you have to speak as though you are in a courtroom or the Houses of Parliament. You just need to be able to take part in a sensible, thoughtful, serious discussion. It is the type of discussion you might have in the workplace rather than in the pub.

In this section, you look at what makes a conversation formal or informal.


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