The main difference between formal and informal email is that formal emails are written in a formal and polite language addressing a formal receiver, whereas informal emails are written in a very relaxed and simple language addressing friends or family members.
We can categorize all emails we write into two broad categories as formal and informal emails. Although both formal and informal emails are used for communication purposes, there are major differences between them.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is a Formal Email
– Definition, Features, Format
2. What is an Informal Email
– Definition, Features
3. Similarities Between Formal and Informal Email
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Formal and Informal Email
– Comparison of Key Differences
Email, Formal Email, Informal Email
What is a Formal Email
Formal emails are emails written for business and professional purposes. We use formal emails to state specific objectives that are relevant to the work environment. We usually send formal emails to an unknown person or a person in an important position. A formal email should consist of a formal writing style. Although it has a formal writing style, the language is typically simple and comprehensive.
Moreover, there is a specific structure for a formal email. It should include a greeting, opening lines and body, closing, and sign-off. Furthermore, you should always mention the subject of the email in the subject line. This subject line should be short and easy to understand. The ending or the sign-off of the email must also be polite.
Overall, formal emails are very professional, formal, and straight to the point. Formal emails should not include unnecessary information. We use formal emails to communicate business matters very clearly since they are very efficient. At the same time, formal emails have a clear purpose and treat the readers with respect. Since the language of formal emails is very clear and precise, the miscommunicating of information is very rare.
What is an Informal Email
Informal emails are used for personal communication. We write informal emails for people we are familiar with – like a friend or a family member. Informal emails usually use an informal writing style and a simple language pattern. The language that we use in informal emails is simple and casual. At the same time, there is no strict and specific format for informal emails.
Although informal emails follow the typical format of greetings, body, and ending, it is not always obligatory to follow the same format or structure. You can easily start an informal email with a casual greeting like “hi” or “hey.” Since the email is informal, you can also use contractions and abbreviations without worry. Furthermore, an informal email consists of short and simple sentences. Informal emails can be either concise or large in size since the writer can mention many details and information in the email.
Similarities Between Formal and Informal Email
- Both formal and informal emails use simple language that is easy to understand.
- Formal and informal emails are useful for effective communication purposes.
- These emails have a standard format: greeting, opening, body, and conclusion.
Difference Between Formal and Informal Email
Formal emails are written for business and professional purposes with a formal tone, whereas informal emails are used for personal communication.
Although formal emails have a specific and prescribed format, informal emails do not have a prescribed format or structure.
Although most of the formal emails start with formal salutations like “Dear sir/madam,” informal emails start with informal salutations like “hi” or “hey.”
Formal emails are sent to unknown people or people with higher ranks, whereas informal emails are sent to friends or family members.
The language of formal emails is formal and polite, whereas the language of informal emails is simple and casual.
Although formal emails have long and complex sentences, informal emails have short and simple sentences.
The main difference between formal emails and informal emails is their language and format. Formal emails are written in formal and polite language addressing a formal audience, whereas informal emails are written in very relaxed and simple language and address friends or family members. While formal emails follow a strict format, informal emails do not.
1. “How to Write Formal Emails in English.” Wall Street English.
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