Welcome to Edukum.com

Varieties of English

Varieties of English
We also have to know what forms of language are appropriate for given situations, and for this purpose, you will find in both those parts ‘variety labels’ such as, for American English, for British English,These labels are reminders that the English language is, in a sense, not a single language, but many languages, each belonging to a particular geographical area or to a particular kind of situation. The English used in formal written communication is in some ways different from the English used in informal conversation; the English used in the United States is somewhat different from the English used in Great Britain, in Australia, and so on. Differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar, American English is rhotic (pronouncing ‘r’)


Have you done your homework yet?

Did you do your homework yet?

I’ve already eaten.

I already ate.

I’ve got two sisters.

I have two sisters.

I’ve got to go now

I have to go now.

Brits goon holidays,warholshols

Americans goon vacation

Londoners live in flats.

New Yorkers live in apartments






























Spoken and written English
Like any other language, English also make use of two channel i.e. speech and writing. They have different transmission system. Speech is transmitted by sound waves which originated in speaking and received in hearing. Writing is transmitted by letters and other visual marks.
Spoken and written English don’t have different grammar, but the shared English grammar is used differently. Normal speech is transitory (momentary), speaking leave no traces other than what the listener can remember but writing leaves a permanent record. In public writing such as printed books, journal, article, leaves records which can be read by millions of contemporary readers and also by coming generation of leaders. In spontaneous speech, we have no time to prepare what to say in advance we must create our message as we go along. Silent pauses (indicated by a dash -) may sound natural and are quite easy to follow on audio tape but it looks fragmented, rambling (confused), unstructured and is rather difficult to read.
The group has probably left by now – so ram didn’t – and eleven - now that can be them –and it was – and Voice-filled pauses (indicated by ‘erm’) show hesitation and I I get really erm – you know when-when I am trying to dance. Repetition (I I, when when) causes irritation. False starts fail to complete a sentence, or lose track of the sentence and mix up one grammatical construction with another. When we speak, we often use discourse markers (you know, you see, I mean, kind of, sort of, like, well, now)Short forms (didn’t, they’re, I’m), coz—becauseSpoken language: private speaking (conversation); pubic speaking (lectures, radio/TV talks, news)Conversation is typically interactive whereas public speaking may not be.
There is always immediate feedback in conversation (verbal (Yes, hmm, umm, I see) or non-verbal (raised eyebrows, shrinking face)) whereas not in writing we have no such direct contact between writer and readers and in public writing, newspaper, magazine the writer may not even have an idea who the readers might be.
Turn-taking in conversation makes a conversation more interactive, a little expression like you know and I mean, appeals for understanding for sympathy, and yes mm expression interest and suppose the speaker.
There should be always give-and-take process in conversation which makes the conversation more effective and interesting.
Formal and Informal English
Formal language is the language we mostly use publicly for some serious purpose. For instance, official reports, business letters, regulations, and academies writing. Nearly written, exceptionally used in speech.
Informal language is the language which is also called colloquial. It is an ordinary conversation. Eg: ordinary conversation, private interactions. Informal English can be found even in newspapers, magazines, advertisements, and popular functions.
Contracted forms of verbs (there’s), an omission of the relative pronoun (whom, who, what).
eg- Children (f), kids (inf)
It is difficult to be precise about digress of formality and informality, so it’s better to tell/write rather informal. The scale to measure (m) formal can be applied differently in different situations. “To whom am I speaking?” is rather formal than “Who am I speaking to?”


Less formal






Cross off


Keep on


Come across




Go into




Look into

These differences make the difficulty of translating a sentence in one variety into an equivalent sentence in the other.
Impersonal style (formal)
Formal written language often uses impersonal style. The speaker avoids personal references to speaker and hearer. ( I, you, we).
Passives, introductory “it” and abstract nouns.
eg: Everyone is asked to submit their assignment on time. (bring that assignment within the deadline)

-It has been considered that………
-Bear in mind the needs of other uses.

Polite and Familiar language
Polite language is used while talking to the person more senior in age or social position.
For example, if you want to borrow a large amount of money, this will induce greater politeness but in the case of borrowing a small pen, there will be less politeness.
English has no special familiar pronouns or polite pronouns, like some languages (e.g. French tu/vous, German du/Sie corresponding to English you). But familiarity can be shown in other ways. Context plays a role to be polite or not. Mr., Mrs., Miss, first name (Bikal), nickname or pet name if familiarity. Present-day English makes little use of the surname alone.
Polite language behavior is most observable in such speech acts as requesting, advising and offering.


Rather Polite

More Polite

Come here

Would you come here?

I wonder if you’d come here.

Slang is familiar in style and is usually restricted to members of a particular social group: teenage slang, army slang, theater slang. Slang is not easy to understand unless you’re a member of the particular group. It is for playful replacement. Slangs are short-lived and are unsuitable for formal contexts. We find people using slangs in movies too.

EG –
Dude(man), big mouth (talkative), foxy (sexy), wheels(car)
Tactful, Tentative, Literary, and Rhetorical language

Politeness and indirectness are linked with tact. Tactful is to avoid no offense or distress to another person.Sometimes covering up the truth.
I will meet you on Monday.
I won’t meet you until Monday.

You’d better apologize to him.
Say sorry to him.

Tentative language shows an indication of speakers reluctance to commit themselves on given questions.


Someone may have made a mistake.
More Tentative – Someone might just have made a mistake.

Literary language can be used to impress others.

Eg –

We will not tire, we will not falter(hesitate) & we will not fail.
-George W. Bush

Rhetorical (Stylized) Language
It is consciously chosen for an emphatic or emotive effect.

Is it any wonder that the government officials are corrupt?

It is no wonder that the government officials are corrupt.


J.G. Leech, Communicative Grammar of English.

Kress, G. (1989). Linguistic processes in sociocultural practice, London Oxford University Press.

Kubota, R. (1992) Contrastive rhetoric of Japanese and English: a critical approach. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto.

Leon, J.A and Carretero, M (1995). Intervention in comprehension and memory strategies: knowledge and use of text structure, Learning and Instruction, 5, 203-20.


#Things To Remember