Difference Between Formal and Informal

Formal vs Informal
 

Understanding the difference between formal and informal can help you to better understand many rules in English grammar. The two words formal and informal are antonyms. Informal has been made by adding the prefix in- to the word formal. Moreover, both formal and informal are adjectives. However, in the North American English formal is used as a noun to refer to an evening dress. Then, the origin of the word formal can be found in Late Middle English. Meanwhile, informally is a derivative of the word informal. Even in language there are two parts as formal and informal language. Formal language is what we learn at a school when we are first learning a language, with all the grammar rules. Informal language, on the other hand, is the language that is used by people in their daily lives.

What does Formal mean?

The word formal refers to something that is done in accordance to rules and regulations pertaining to the occasion or the place. The word formal is used in connection with dress, speech, meeting and the like. Observe the sentences given below.

He wore a formal dress for the reception.

His speech appeared formal.

The meeting was conducted in a formal manner.

In all the three sentences mentioned above, you can see that the word formal is used in the sense of something that is performed in accordance to rules and regulations pertaining to the occasion or place. If you take the first sentence, a man wearing a formal dress to the occasion will indicate that it is a formal event. So, he must have worn a full suit, tuxedo, etc. according to the occasion. A formal speech would be something that is not colloquial as the way we speak with friends. A meeting that is conducted in a formal manner would be a meeting that follow s all the rules. Furthermore, we can say that formal adheres to protocol.

Difference Between Formal and Informal

What does Informal mean?

On the other hand, the word informal refers to something that is not done in accordance to rules and regulations pertaining to the occasion or the place. Observe the sentences given below.

Everything appeared informal about him yesterday.

His speech turned informal.

In both the sentences mentioned above, you can see that the word informal is used in the sense of something that is performed not in accordance to rules and regulations pertaining to the occasion or place. In the first sentence, you get the idea that the person appeared to have swerved from everything supposed to be formal. May be instead of wearing a tuxedo to a ball, he wore jeans and t-shirt. In the second sentence, you get the idea that the person who holds a very high position suddenly turned informal as far as his speech is concerned. Considering all of these facts we can say that informal does not adhere to protocol.

What is the difference between Formal and Informal?

• The word formal refers to something that is done in accordance to rules and regulations pertaining to the occasion or the place.

• On the other hand, the word informal refers to something that is not done in accordance to rules and regulations pertaining to the occasion or the place. This is the main difference between the two words.

• The word formal is used in connection with dress, speech, meeting and the like.

• Formal adheres to protocol whereas informal does not adhere to protocol.

These are the differences between the two words, namely, formal and informal.