Study Online English

From the blog

Informal and Formal English

Part Oneinformal and formal english

Ways to speak, write a letter, email or even how to send an informal Whatsapp!

As with your native language we always use formal speech when we don’t know the person and for official documents, books, news reports, articles, business letters or official speeches. Once we are friendly with the person we use more casual speech or informal.

Asking for permission

  • Formal: Do you mind if I…? / Do I have your permission to…? / Might it be possible for me to…? / Would it be acceptable for me to…?

  • Informal: Is it alright (for me) to…? / Can I…? / Am I allowed to…?


Making arrangements ( suggesting a time and place to meet)

  • Formal: Would you be available…? /I can meet at 1pm if that is convenient with you.

  • Informal: Are you free…? / … is best for me. /

Inviting someone to socialise together

  • Formal: We would like to invite you to…/ Please find enclosed an invitation to…/ It would be our great pleasure if you could attend…

  • Informal: Why don’t you … (with me/ us)? / How about… (with me/ us)? / Fancy coming to…?

 Offering help

  • Formal: Please contact me if I can be of any assistance (with…). / It is our great pleasure to offer you…

  • Informal: Drop me a line if you want me to lend you a hand (with…)/ Give me a call if you need any help (with…).

I hope you have found this article helpful. Part 2 is coming up with some more useful examples.