Formal Communication – 5 things to Know

Formal communication is the easiest way to communicate in the workplace because it is all predefined by the organizational structure; it is characterized by a more significant concern with the choice of words and the absence of common slang and expressions used in everyday life.

However, we may see ourselves using the formal language and not understand why outside professional environment we need to use it; in this article, we will discuss the proper use of language more and fulfill short curiosities.

HIGHLY Recommended Article: Informal Communication – 3 Things to Know

Formal Communication – 5 things to Know

1. There is a Communication Model 

Formal communication observes specific models and channels determined by the organization, generally speaking, this type of communication occurs in a written way.

When a manager wishes to communicate some fact to his team, he often uses a formal channel, such as corporate email, a memo, a letter, a newsletter, etc.

Usually, companies have report templates, emails, clear authority lines, and well-defined communication channels in their structure.

  • Strictly follows the rules of grammar;
  • Clear and correct pronunciation of words;
  • Rich and a vast vocabulary.

Moments where formal language is applied

  • In public or political speeches;
  • In classrooms, conferences, lectures, seminars;
  • In competitions and competitions;
  • At work meetings and job interviews;
  • In official documents, letters, applications.

2. Lack of formal communication use in specific moments can be unethical 

Formal language is also known as cultured language; it is applied when there is no familiarity between the communication’s interlocutors or when it requires more respectability.

People with whom we should use formal language

  • Superiors religious, official, political authorities;
  • Strict families;
  • General public;
  • Unknown public.

If there is a specific way, established by the organization, to communicate with a subordinate, a superior, or another sector or company, we face formal communication. As an example of formal communication, we have the memorandum or the letter.

3. Formal Communication Can engage specific Social groups

For there to always be formal communication in constant development, it is necessary to engage a whole social group to understand that all are considered collaborators. 

All are part of a body, and each has its importance, and its communication between each sector is essential for the company’s growth. With everything, one can use various forms of communication in the corporation, but always maintaining respect and the best way to work.

We can see this happening in families where the education is relatively rigid or strict eldest people, people we just met and so far the use of you, for example, It was a pleasure meeting you Sir.

Unlike informal communication that social groups are engaging in because intimacy comes from respect and ethics. People use proper use of language so that any subject can be appropriately addressed and politely.

4. Focus Your Comms on Your Target /Reason

Objectivity and clarity are two fundamental points of informal language; it always needs to get somewhere and clarify where this place is as soon as possible.

When we talk with someone using formal language, there is always a reason, whether it is to compliment, to discuss a subject; so imagine you’re writing a professional email.

The first step would be to ensure that the subject of your correspondence gets to the point. Thus, neither you nor your reader wastes time during the exchange of information.

5. Formal Communication Has its rules

Cordiality is another characteristic of formal language. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening should always be part of the writing of a professional email for it to be seen as such. Some fulfillment can also help you.

Formal Communication - 5 things to Know

How to use formal language?

To ensure that we are using formal language in your texts, follow the following tips:

1. Be formal but keep it simple

Being formal does not exclude the possibility of being simple throughout our speech. So we should always try to get to the point, be objective and put our message clearly; whoever comes to read our content will thank us.

2. Use the appropriate verbal conjugation

Always use the correct verbal and nominal conjugations throughout the construction of content, especially when it has formal language features. If you have questions, do a preliminary search before producing a piece or consult a good friend in Portuguese.

3. Write considering the recipient of the message

Whenever we write a letter, consider the persona that will make use of it. The better we can understand our interlocutor, the easier it will be to tailor our message and make it understood first by him. So if we don’t have access to the persona we’re writing for, we should ask for that reference from the person who asked for the content.

Difference between Formal and Informal use of Language

Formal language is the careful record, in which examples of formal situations are those associated with the holding of conferences, political speeches, etc.

However, it also establishes a dialogue between a social group and the external public.

It is a language that is commonly used in written form can be characterized by syntactic rigor, the richness of erudite vocabulary, and the use of forms of treatment appropriate to the context.

On the other hand, informal language is the one that speakers use mostly between friends and family; some slangs are popularly known, but some people may consider it unethical (informal communication, this doesn’t happen). The concern for linguistic correctness here is less and is most common use is through vocal conversations. The vocabulary is simples, often including familiar words and expressions.


Despite the coexistence of linguistic variants, the formal language has specific and essential purposes for living in a society that depends on writing in different everyday situations, which is why it relies on fixed rules that facilitate the planning of the text and the interpretation of the reader. 

Whether oral or written, the other variants are more filled with improvisation and characteristic marks according to who speaks, who listens, in what environment, etc. – i.e., aspects that make the interpretation more challenging and therefore do not configure the standard.

Reference and Further Reading

Formal and informal language

Ten differences between formal and informal language

How and When to Use Formal and Informal English

Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

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