Whether you’re sending an email or writing a letter, the difference between formal and informal letter styles can be confusing at first. While it’s easy to simply call these two different styles formal and informal, there are some important differences in how each one should be written—differences that can get you in trouble if you’re not careful. Here are some guidelines to help you choose which style of the letter will work best in any given situation
Definition of Formal Letters
A formal letter is a type of letter that is written in a formal, professional tone. Formal letters are usually sent to businesses or people we don’t know well. They are used to request information or ask for someone’s help. Because formal letters are so important, it’s important to know how to write them correctly.
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Here are some tips:
- Use a professional greeting (e.g., Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. Smith).
- Use proper grammar and punctuation. Make sure the sentence endings have periods, commas, etc. If you’re unsure about something in your letters, such as the date or address, consult a style guide before sending the letter out.
- Include your contact information at the end of the letter just in case there is any confusion about who wrote it. It should include your name and phone number as well as an email address if you have one available. Remember to always spell-check your work before sending it!
Definition of Informal Letters
An informal letter is a letter that is written to a friend, family member, or someone else with whom you have a close relationship. The tone of an informal letter is relaxed and friendly. You can write about anything in an informal letter, from recent news to personal thoughts. However, the more formal the occasion for which the letter is written, the more traditional style it should follow.
For example, a condolence letter would be traditionally styled rather than using slang words or jocular language. Letter writing became a popular pastime during the 16th century. Letter writing was primarily reserved for royalty, nobility, and wealthy merchants until the 18th century when stationery became widely available to other social classes and letter writing was seen as both a convenient and inexpensive form of communication between friends who lived far apart.
What’s the difference?
A formal letter is a letter that is written for a formal purpose, such as a business letter or a cover letter. An informal letter is a letter that is written for a personal purpose, such as a thank-you note or a friendly letter. The main difference between the two types of letters is the tone. Formal letters are usually more serious and formal in tone, while informal letters are more friendly and personal.
Differences in Formatting: Formal Letter vs. Informal Letter
When writing a formal letter, you should use a professional or business-style format. This means including a letterhead at the top of the page, as well as using a formal salutation (Dear Sir or Madam) and closing (Sincerely). You should also avoid abbreviations and contractions. In contrast, an informal letter can be written in any format you choose. You can use abbreviations and contractions, and there is no need for letterhead or formal salutation/closing.
Opening Line: Formal Letter vs. Informal Letter
In business, the distinction between a formal and informal letter is important. The recipient of your letter will likely make assumptions about your level of professionalism based on the type of letter you send. A formal letter is used when communicating with businesses or individuals that you do not know well, while an informal letter is used when writing to friends or family. Here are some key differences between formal and informal letters
Closing Line: Formal Letter vs. Informal Letter
The main difference between formal and informal letters is the tone. A formal letter is written in a professional or business-like manner, while an informal letter is more personal. Another difference is that formal letters are often sent to strangers, while informal letters are usually sent to friends or family. The format of a formal letter also differs from an informal letter – a formal letter typically has a heading, salutation, body, closing, and signature, while an informal letter does not.
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Paragraph Structure: Formal Letter vs. Informal Letter
A formal letter is a type of written communication that is often used for business or academic purposes. The main difference between a formal and informal letter is the tone. Formal letters are usually more serious in tone, while informal letters are more personal. Another key difference is the use of language. Formal letters often use more formal language, while informal letters use more colloquial language. Finally, the format of a formal letter is usually stricter than that of an informal letter.
Body of Letter: Formal Letter vs. Informal Letter
The main difference between a formal and informal letter is the tone. A formal letter is typically businesslike and professional, while an informal letter is friendly and personal. Another difference is that a formal letter usually has a specific purpose, such as applying for a job or requesting information, while an informal letter may not have a specific purpose.
Common Grammar Mistakes: Formal Letter vs. Informal Letter
It is very important to know the difference between a formal letter and an informal letter. The main difference is in the language used. Formal language is more polite and has a level of respect, whereas informal language is more casual. For example, Dear is often used at the beginning of a formal letter while Hi or Hey might be used at the beginning of an informal letter.
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The main difference between formal and informal letters is the tone. A formal letter is written in a professional or business-like style, while an informal letter is more personal. Another difference is that formal letters use a standard format, while informal letters have no set format. Formal letters are usually shorter than informal letters, and they often have a specific purpose, such as requesting information or applying for a job.