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Matching Formal and Informal Common Errors

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This task shows you examples of formal and informal sentences. Formal English is used in academic writing to add authority to a text. To make a sentence more formal you can:

  • Use 'There' as a subject; e.g. 'There is a serious risk of...'
  • Use 'It' as a subject; e.g. 'It is impossible to...'
  • Use 'One' as a subject; e.g. 'One may ask whether...' ('One' is a formal version of 'You' [plural] in general)
  • Use the passive voice; e.g. 'Many things can be done in order to...'

Match the formal phrases in the boxes on the right with the informal phrases on the left:

  1. Click in the table cell containing the Formal phrase you want to move.
  2. Click in the table cell where you want the phrase to go. The phrases will swap position.
  3. If a phrase is in the right position, it will have a green background and a tick.
  4. When all the formal phrase table cells are green and have ticks, you have finished.

       Score: / 10


1 Life is not a rose garden. Life is tough. 1
2 On top of that... 2
3 In a nutshell... 3
4 Last but not least... 4
5 Government must make laws... 5
6 Hong Kong is an international city, so we all must... 6
7 Every coin has two sides. 7
8 By the way... 8
9 Pros & cons of... 9
10 Government & the people must join hands together...… 10

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Last updated on: Thursday, October 09, 2014