Register in linguistics with types/Some other registers

Registration in linguistics

In linguistics, registration is defined as the way a speaker uses language differently in different circumstances. Think about the words you choose, your tone of voice, even your body language. You probably behave very differently when talking to a friend than at a formal dinner or during a job interview. These variations of informality, also called stylistic variation, are known as registers in linguistics. They are determined by factors such as social occasion, context, purpose, and audience. In this article we will provide you information about the register in linguistics.

The registers are marked by a variety of specialized vocabulary and phrase turns, colloquialisms and the use of jargon, and a difference in intonation and rhythm; In “The Study of Language,” linguist George Yule describes the function of jargon as helping to “create and maintain connections between those who see themselves as ‘internal’ in some way and to exclude the ‘external'”.

The records are used in all forms of communication, including written, spoken, and signed. Depending on the grammar, syntax, and tone, the register can be extremely rigid or very intimate. You don’t even need to use a real word to communicate effectively. An exasperated snort during a debate or a smile while signing “hello” says a lot.

Types of Register in Linguistics

Below are types of register in linguistics.


Formal registration is almost always used in written communication, especially in environments professionals. It may be necessary to use it in oral communication as well. It is characterized by its impersonality and absence of emotion.

We must use it in:

  • Job application
  • Claim letters
  • Official announcements
  • Professional letters and emails (depending on context)
  • Academic articles (according to context)
  • Reports

It is not appropriate, except for specific exceptions, in:

  • Casual meetings between coworkers
  • Communication with trusted people

Main features:

  • Contractions should not be used in any case.
  • Set phrases, colloquial expressions, puns, and exaggerations should be avoided.
  • It is preferable to avoid abbreviations and acronyms. Informal abbreviations should never be used.
  • Phrases should not be started with words like ” like “, ” but “, ” also “, but with formal connectors like ” likewise “, ” nevertheless ” or ” furthermore “.
  • Sentences should be complete, with as few omissions as possible, and with more length and complexity than in other styles.


The neutral register is the most common in broadcast media. It is less elaborate than the formal one, but with the impersonality and lack of emotionality that characterize it. It is also sometimes called ” semi-formal registration .”

Its main function is to transmit information, so it is ideal for:

In contexts where it is not very clear which register to use, it is preferable to opt for the formal or the neutral one.

Main features:

  • It does not contain as many courtesy formulas as the formal record.
  • It is more direct, with shorter sentences and with less ornamentation.
  • Informal abbreviations, set phrases, or contractions should not be used.


The informal register, also called colloquial, is the most common in oral expression. It is the one we use with friends, family, casual situations at work, and other lighthearted contexts. If there is any doubt about which registry to use, it is preferable to avoid starting with the informal registry, unless our interlocutor does so.

It is used to convey affection, express emotion, get closer to our interlocutor and communicate in a relaxed way, so it is ideal for:

  • Personal emails and letters
  • Mobile messages and chat
  • Short notes
  • Personal blogs and social networks
  • Diaries

As it is the freest form of expression, it does not have specific rules or characteristics, but this register contains elements that cannot be found in the others:

  • Vulgar expressions, puns, set phrases, and exaggerations.
  • Contractions
  • Figurative language.
  • Symbols, emoticons, abbreviations, and acronyms.
  • Incomplete sentences (for example, with ellipsis).
  • Absence of structuring by paragraphs.
  • Shorter and less elaborate sentences.
  • Less rigorous punctuation (additional exclamation and question marks).

Other Registers


This form is sometimes called a static record because it refers to historical language or communication that is intended to remain unchanged, such as a constitution or sentence. Examples: The Bible, the Constitution of the United States, the Bhagavad Gita, “Romeo and Juliet”.


People often use this record in conversations when speaking with someone who has specialist knowledge or offering advice. The tone is usually respectful (use of courtesy titles), but can be more informal if the relationship is long-lasting or friendly (a family doctor). Sometimes jargon is used, people can pause or interrupt each other. Examples: local television news broadcast, annual physical exam, service provider such as plumber.


Linguists say this record is reserved for special occasions, usually between just two people, and often in private. Intimate language can be something as simple as a private joke between two college friends or a word whispered in a lover’s ear.

We hope that you have understood the concept of register in linguistics.

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