Differences between Formal vs. Informal Letters

The major difference between a formal letter and an informal letter is their purpose ...


A letter is a written message from one party to another containing information. Letters are one of the oldest modes of communication used by humankind. In the contemporary society, there are two types of letters: formal letters and informal letters. In this article, we are going to look at the difference between Formal and Informal Letter.

Formal letters

Formal letters are sent to organizations, government departments, chair holders, etc to make complaints, requests, inquiries, orders etc. In case of formal letters, the person to whom you are addressing the letter is not a friend or any other person known to you. Your tone is full of respect making use of formal words and sentences to create a nice impression on the recipient. Formal letter follow a set format where you write the name, designation, and address of the recipient on the top left while your own name and address at the top right. You sign off at the bottom left under yours truly or yours faithfully.

Informal letters

Informal letters are written to friends and relatives. The purpose of writing a letter is not to make a complaint or inquiry, and the tone is also casual. The words used can be colloquial and slang, and you are not there to create an impression. Informal letters can be considered a freestyle swimming where you are free to write in the style and tone as you wish. There is no set format, and there is no need to be using formal style and tone.

What's Difference between Formal vs. Informal Letters?

  • The purpose of writing an informal letter is totally different from the purpose of a formal letter.
  • The content of the two styles is also different.
  • The style of greeting and addressing the letter is different.
  • There is a set format for formal letters while there is no set structure for an informal letter.
  • Slang and colloquial words can be used in an informal letter but not in a formal letter.

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Differences between Formal vs. Informal Letters

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