Language and Linguistics

Formal and informal language with characteristics and situations

Formal and informal language

With family and friends we use a more relaxed language, that is, an informal language . With hierarchical superiors we use a more careful language, that is, a formal language . Thus, we can conclude that different social and communicative contexts require different languages. In this article we will provide you the information about the formal and informal language.

It is essential that the speaker knows how to adapt his speech to different communicative contexts, mainly to ensure linguistic adequacy in professional and academic contexts.

formal language

Formal language can also be called formal registration. It is used when there is no familiarity between the communication interlocutors or in situations that require greater seriousness.

Characteristics :

  • Rigorous use of grammatical norms (cultured norm);
  • Clear and correct pronunciation of words;
  • Use of rich and diverse vocabulary;
  • Careful, prestigious, complex and erudite record.

Situations of use of formal language :

  • In public or political speeches;
  • In classrooms, conferences, lectures, seminars,…;
  • In exams and public tenders;
  • In work meetings and job interviews;
  • In official documents, letters, applications,…;

Target audience of formal language :

  • Hierarchical superiors;
  • Religious, official, political authorities…;
  • Wide audience;
  • Unknown public;

Informal language

Informal language can also be called informal register. It is used when there is familiarity between the communication interlocutors or in relaxed situations.

Characteristics :

  • Unconcern about the use of grammatical norms;
  • Use of simple vocabulary, popular expressions and colloquialisms;
  • Use of slang, profanity, made up words, onomatopoeia, gestures,…;
  • Use of abbreviated or contracted words: cê, pra, tá,…;
  • Subject to regional, cultural and social variations;
  • Spontaneous and low-prestige record, sometimes incorrect and sloppy.

Situations of use of informal language :

  • Everyday conversations;
  • Cell phone messages;
  • Internet Chat;

Target audience of informal language :

  • Relatives;
  • Friends;

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