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Levels of formality

Of course writing is not just either formal or informal; there are various levels of formality and informality. Think about how you would talk to various people if you were discussing last night’s football game, for instance:

To a close friend:

"How good was that game mate? Bloody terrific, hey?"

To someone you know but aren’t close to, such as a parent of a friend:

"I heard that the Lions had an awesome win last night."

To a stranger in a lift:

"Did you by any chance see the Lions game last night?"

As you move away from people you know closely, you get more and more formal in your speech. The same goes for writing for an audience - pick the appropriate level of formality or informality for the situation. And remember, what one person thinks is a slightly formal piece of writing, another may think is highly informal!