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Formal Language in Reports

Aim: This exercise will help you to write reports using formal language.

Language Analysis:
To make words and phrases more formal you can:

  • replace phrasal verbs with one-word verbs; e.g. 'take a look at' with 'investigate'
  • replace general verbs with specific ones; e.g. 'got' with 'received', although the specific verb should correlate with the noun; e.g. 'draw conclusions' and 'make recommendations' (Click here for more information.)
  • replace extreme adjectives with less extreme ones; e.g. 'huge' with 'large'
  • replace informal quantifiers with formal ones; e.g. 'masses of ' with 'a large amount of '
  • replace words with apostrophes with full forms; e.g. 'don't' with 'do not'

Related Materials: Matching Formal and Informal Phrases

Instructions:
Edit the boxes below by replacing the informal words and phrases with formal ones.

 

 

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Answer

Your answer

Model answer
To take a look at (it's a phrasal verb) investigate the problem of declining numbers of visitors to Hong Kong, we decided to  do ('do' is too general) conduct a really big (it's an informal quantifier) large-scale survey.

Your answer

Model answer
We made (it's too general) designed a questionnaire and handed it out (it's a phrasal verb)  distributed it to 2,000 people.

Your answer

Model answer
We did this because right now (informal expression) currently we don't (apostrophes are too informal) do not have any reliable hard data on why tourist numbers are declining.

Your answer

Model answer
There's (apostrophes are too informal) There is not much (it's an informal quantifier) little information available either on what might bring them back to Hong Kong.

Your answer

Model answer
The return rate for the questionnaire was really bad ('really' is an informal quantifier and 'bad' is too general) very disappointing at only 13% but this figure should provide a firm enough basis for talking about (it's a phrasal verb) discussing why tourist numbers are going down (it's a phrasal verb) declining.

 

Last updated on: Monday, March 26, 2012