Many of you have asked me about the difference between formal and informal writing in IELTS and this tells me that it’s a common problem. So here is what you need to know about the styles of writing in IELTS.
If you are preparing for the Academic IELTS module, both Task 1 and Task 2 in the Writing test are formal. For General Training candidates, Task 2 in Writing is always formal, and Task 1 can be formal or informal.
As you know, Task 1 for GT module is a letter, and if the topic asks you to write to someone you know, that is an informal letter – as opposed to writing to someone you don’t know, which is formal.
The difference between formal and informal styles is mainly in the vocabulary. Informal words are the ones used in everyday conversations and formal are used in books, contracts, business letters and essays. If the task requires formal writing – avoid using informal vocabulary. If the task requires informal writing, such as a letter to a friend, avoid using formal ‘heavy’ words.
Apart from the vocabulary in formal writing it is best to avoid words like “I”, “you”, “we”, unless you are expressing an opinion. For example in an essay instead of writing “You would find it difficult to get a job without proper qualifications”, write something like “One would find it difficult to find a job without proper qualifications”, or you could write “Finding a job without proper qualifications would be rather difficult”.
|Inform me||Let me know|
|Contact||Get in touch|
|Investigate||Check up on|
|Many / Much||A lot of|
|Many / Much||Heaps of|
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