Informal register Characteristics and examples

Informal register

The informal register, also called colloquial, is used in an informal, familiar, and relaxed contextWe use this variety in natural and everyday conversation and it is characterized by being spontaneous,  relaxed, and expressive.

Within the speech registers, as we have commented, we distinguish between uneducated and cultured language, and the latter in turn are subdivided into formal and informal. In reference to the definition of the informal register, we will be talking about the language that we use when we converse with people with whom we are familiar, so the tone and use of the language is much more colloquial.

In this case, despite the fact that we have deep knowledge of the language and its rules, because we are in a context of familiarity and closeness with friends and very intimate people, we put aside cultured conditioning and use a very colloquial way of speaking.

The normal thing when we speak under the informal register is that we commit inaccuracies, interruptions, repetitions of vocabulary, use of fillers, short phrases, etc. That is to say, it has a series of very unique characteristics, as we observe now, since we let ourselves be carried away by emotion and expressiveness, given the confidence of the context. Characteristics of the informal register

Informal registration is very common in the context of oral communication. However, despite the fact that formal language has always been more associated with writing, among other situations, today, with social networks and mobile messaging applications, it is also commonly used when writing the informal register.

Characteristics of the informal register

As we have well commented, the informal register has a series of very particular characteristics that differentiate it from the formal and the vulgar one. The most important ones are:

  • Generally, a poor vocabulary is used , in which repetitions and reiterations abound.
  • It is a very expressive language , since the sender does not have the feeling that he must keep rules and special forms of courtesy except for the basic ones.
  • It is common for many fillers to be used.
  • In general, simple and rather short sentences are used .
  • It is used in very conversational environments , in casual meetings between friends and family, with co-workers in free time, with trusted people, etc.
  • When writing and speaking, many contractions are often added.
  • Used puns, exaggerations, phrases and colloquialisms.
  • It is common to add abbreviations, especially in writing.
  • Words are omitted and ‘shortcuts’ are sought to say a lot in a very short time and with shorter sentences, as we have commented.
  • The use of diminutives, nicknames and the like is normal .
  • The same idea is often repeated repeatedly.
  • Idioms are used that only have meaning in a specific context.
  • Certain phrases may be vague, although they are likely to make sense to the recipient because of the trusted context.


We already know this type of language profusely, but to understand it well, it is best to discover some examples of informal registration. However, if you look at your conversations with family, friends and classmates, you will already notice your informal use of the language:

  • Hey! Hello! How’s that going?
  • Cool! How many years have we seen each other? You are a hard guy to find!
  • Waiting! Don’t tell me I guess! You’re getting married.
  • But … how is it possible …?
  • Aaaah! A little bird told me …
  • Friends, I love you very, very much!
  • I went out with that guy, but it didn’t go very well and I walked out.
  • How great that we had a great time yesterday!
  • Juan thinks he is very handsome, but in reality he is a very ugly boy.
  • Tomorrow we go to the movies, will you sign up?
  • What is that you have found? It’s so interesting that I’m going to have to google it.
  • We meet at 8:30 in the square over there.
  • Hey, I thought that, but I should have listened to you at the time.
  • Ah, a little bird told me that.
  • How are you doing, auntie! Characteristics of the informal register

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