Learn EnglishSpoken English

Formal Expression & Informal Expression Part: 2; Day: 66

Formal English expressions are used in letters or in situations involving people you do not know very well. The tone is respectful and polite.

Informal English expressions are used in everyday conversations, letters and emails exchanged with friends, family, colleagues or people you know well.
The tone is casual and friendly.

  1. List of some formal & informal words.
Formal Informal
Right correct
Seen appear
Expect anticipate
Dare challenge
Build construct
Hurt damage
Lack deficiency
Brave courageous
Expect/ Want desire
Sick ill
Empty vacant
Need require
Keep preserve
Live reside
Whole entire
Death demise
Free liberate
Ask require
Ask for request
Book reserve
Check verify
Get receive
Help assist
Tell inform
Fight combat
Use consume
Go depart
Sorry apologize
Tough difficult
Explain discourse
Old elderly
Say express
Mad insane
Cheap inexpensive
Afraid fearful
See observe
Free liberate
Job occupation
Hungry famished
Wrong incorrect
Formal Informal
Father dad/ papa
Mother mom/ mama
Mend repair
Describe depict
Give up quit


  1. List of some Formal & Informal Expression
Formal Informal
Hello, Hi
Thank you, Thanks
Goodbye So long
It is a pleasure Nice to meet you
I am afraid I have no idea I don’t know
I do not think we have met before I don’t know him.
I beg your pardon What?
Would you pass me the salt? Pass me the salt, please.
Would you like another piece of cake? Have another piece of cake.
Could I have some more rice? Can I have some more rice?
I think you might be mistake. I don’t think that’s right.
Would you like to go for a walk? Let’s go for a walk?
He has a great deal of experience. He has a lot of experience.
He was hurt in the accident. He got hurt in the accident.
He was married last year. He got married last year.
The time now is 10 o’clock. It’s now 10 o’clock.
The weather today is wet. It’s wet today.
The songs of Tagore are very popular. Tagore’s songs are very popular.
One should take regular exercise. You should take regular exercise.
One never knows what will happen tomorrow. You never know what will happen tomorrow.


▪I regret to inform you that … ▪I hate to have to tell you this but …
▪I am writing to inform you that … ▪Just a quick line to say …
▪It is a pleasure to meet you. ▪Nice to meet you.
▪Upon your arrival … ▪As soon as you get here …
▪At your earliest convenience ▪As soon as you can
▪I regret that I will be unable to attend … ▪Sorry I can’t make it.
▪I would appreciate being kept informed … ▪Please keep me posted/updated.
▪Keep me in the loop!
▪I would like to remind you that … ▪Don’t forget …
▪Would you be available on ….. ? ▪I suggest we get together on …..
▪I really appreciate your assistance ▪Thanks a lot!
▪Please accept my apologies for … ▪Sorry for …
▪It will not be necessary for you to … ▪You won’t have to …
▪It would be of great benefit to you to … ▪It would do you good to …
▪We have a vast amount of information at your disposal. ▪I have lots of information for you.
▪We were hoping you could … ▪Could you …?
▪It is my opinion that … ▪I think …
▪Please remember me to Alex. ▪Say hello to Alex for me.
▪I’d like to express my gratitude for… ▪Thanks a million. I owe you one!



  • Dear Sir/ Madam,
  • Dear Sir or Madam,
  • To whom it may concern: (especially AmE)
  • Dear Mr/ Ms Jones,
  • Dear Dr Smith,

(note: First names are NOT used. Using Miss or Mrs to address a woman  is not appropriate, as you don’t know whether she’s married or not)


  • Hi Dennis,
  • Hello Claire,
  • Dear Mum,

(note: salutations are followed by a (,) comma, exception: ’To whom it may concern:’)



  • I am writing to make a reservation/ to apply for the position of…/ to confirm my booking/ to ask for further information about 
  • I am writing with regard  to the sale of …/ to the complaint you made on 29th February
  • Thank you for your email of 29th February regarding the sale of… / concerning the conference in Brussels.
  • With reference to our telephone conversation on Friday, I would like to let you know that…

Semi-formal / Informal

  • Just a quick note to invite you to…/ to tell you that…
  • This is to invite you to join us for...
  • Thanks for your email, it was wonderful/great to hear from you.
  • I wanted to let you know that / tell you about / ask you if…



  • Could you please let me know if you can attend … / if you are available for a meeting on 12th December?
  • I would appreciate it if you could please send me a brochure/ if you could please reply within two days.
  • Could you possibly arrange a meeting with the Logistics Manager?
  • I would also like to know if there are any swimming pools in your area.
  • Please let me know how much the tickets cost.


  • I was wondering if you could come and see me sometime next week.
  • Would you mind coming early to help me clear up the place?
  • Do you think you could call Jerry for me?
  • Can you call me/ get back to me asap? (as soon as possible)                                                                 



  • We are happy to let you know that your article has been selected for publication.
  • I am glad to inform you that we will be holding our annual conference in Brussels on 20 September 2014.
  • We regret to inform you that the show has been cancelled due to bad weather conditions.
  • We are willing to arrange another meeting with the CEO.
  • We would be glad to send you another statement if necessary.
  • Please do let me know if I can be of further assistance.
  • Should you need any further information/assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.


  • I’m sorry, but I can’t make it tomorrow. (= I can’t come tomorrow.)
  • I’m happy to tell you that John and I are getting married next month.
  • Would you like me to come early and help you clear up the place?
  • How about I come and help you out?
  • Do you need a hand with moving the furniture?



  • I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with… / to complain about…
  • I regret to say that I was not completely satisfied with the room you provided us.
  • We regret to inform you that your payment is considerably overdue.
  • I would like to receive a full refund and compensation for the damages.
  • I am interested to hear how your company can compensate us for the distress we suffered.


  • I’m sorry to say that you’re late with the payments.
  • I hope you won’t mind me saying that the place you’d recommended to us wasn’t as nice as we’d expected..



  • We would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused.
  • Please accept our apologies for the delay.
  • Please let us know what we can do to compensate you for the damages caused.
  • We will make sure that this will not happen again in the  future.
  • I am afraid I will not be able to attend the conference.


  • I’m sorry for the trouble I caused.
  • I apologize for the delay.
  • I promise it won’t happen again
  • I’m sorry, but I can’t make it to the meeting.





  • I am attaching my CV for your consideration.
  • I am sending you the brochure as an attachment.
  • Please see the statement attached.
  • Please find attached the file you requested.
  • I am afraid I cannot open the file you have sent me.
  • Could you send it again in … format?


  • I’m attaching/sending you the holiday photos.
  • Sorry, but I can’t open it. Can you send it again in … format?



  • Yours faithfully, (when you start with Dear Sir/ Madam,)
  • Yours sincerely, (when you start with the name e.g. Dear Ms Collins)
  • Sincerely Yours, (AmE)
  • Sincerely, (AmE)
  • Yours Truly, (AmE)


  • Love,
  • Thanks,
  • Take care,
  • Yours,
  • Best regards, (semi-formal, also BR)


  • I look forward to hearing from you.
  • I look forward to hearing when you are planning to visit our town.


  • Hope to hear from you soon.
  • I’m looking forward to seeing you.


  1. Read the following list of formal and informal expression and discuss their meaning.
Formal Expression Informal Expression
Hello! Hi!/ Hey!
It’s pleasure to meet you. Nice to meet you.
I Apologize. I am sorry.
Much appreciated. Thanks
Could you please help me? Can you help me?/ Help me.
How are you doing? What’s going on? / What’s up?
Do you want to share? Want to share?
I’m not able to attend. I can’t make it.
  1. Read the expression given below and then, categorize them as formal & informal expression in the table.

(a)Hello! Good afternoon.  (b) Need any help?  (c) You can wait inside if you want!  (d) Hi, What’s up?  (e) The pleasure is all mine. (f) Good day! (g) Say hello to ——— (h) May I help you?

Formal Expression Informal Expression
  1. Write the formal Informal expressions in the blanks of the column.
Formal Expression Informal Expression
(a)——– Hi!/ Hey!
(b)———- Thanks
(c)———– What’s going on? What’s up?
Do you want to share? (d)———-
I’m not able to send (e)——–
Would you mind giving me a glass of water? (f)———-