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What does formal writing mean?

Sally looks at the importance of register in IELTS Writing and students discuss some of the features of formal writing.

What is formal English?

Compare these sentences:

  • Not so many people went to watch football in January. Teams made less money. That was because of bad weather.

  • There was a significant drop in attendance at football matches in January as a consequence of poor weather conditions, leading to a decrease in revenue.

You probably noticed that both examples mean exactly the same thing. There is no difference at all in the information they provide. But they are quite different in the way they provide that information. What differences do you notice?

Tell us in the comments what language features makes these examples different. Try to be as specific as possible. Then tell us how you feel about formal writing in English.

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Understanding IELTS: Writing

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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