Formal and informal language
(created by Yasmin Stephenson, Jack Stephens, Charles Du Parc, Eva Trnakova and Regina Jirankova,
IH Brno, 2 March 2012, pictures from NEF Beginner WB 2A, p. 13)
Ideas for lesson plan:
1. Students create informal dialogues and then transfer them into formal
language (creative but rather difficult, need a lot of teacher’s help)
2. Students are given the informal version and transfer it into formal
language (less time consuming)
3. Students are given the formal version and transfer it into informal
4. Both formal and informal gap fill
W: I was wondering if that present was for me? M: Of course, let me give it to you.
W: Oh, wonderful. But you really shouldn’t have.
M: Don’t mention it.
W: Oh, a present!
M: Yeah, here you go.
M: No problem.
M: On behalf of the president I would like to present you with this small token of our
W: Thank you very much, indeed. It has been a great pleasure working here.
M: This is from the president. He wanted to say thanks. W: Ah, thanks, I’ve had a blast!
I: Excuse me, Sir.
M: Is there a problem?
I: Could you open the bag for me, please?
M: Of course.
I: Stop here!
M: What? Why?
I: I need to see inside your bag. M: OK.
W1: Oh, dear. Are those new sunglasses?
W2: I would really love your opinion. I just bought them today. W1: Well, if you don’t mind me saying so, they don’t really suit you.
W1: Oh my God, what are you wearing?
W2: Do you like them? I got them today.
W1: No, they look ridiculous.
W: Excuse me, I am considering purchasing these sunglasses, may I ask your opinion?
S: Certainly, madam. In my opinion, they correspond perfectly to your image and
complement the rest of your outfit.
W: Excuse me, I want to buy these sunglasses. What do you think? S: Sure. I think they suit you and go well with what you’re wearing.
Formal: M: I am afraid the door won’t open. What am I to do? W: Excuse me, I don’t want to interfere but would you like a key? M: That’s incredibly thoughtful of you.
Informal: M: It’s locked. How does it open?
W: You need a key. I’ve got it.
M: Oh, right. Thanks.