Books on shelves in a library
You will see informal English in some story books.

Grade 4 Language - Formal and Informal English

This English Language quiz is called 'Formal and Informal English' and it has been written by teachers to help you if you are studying the subject at elementary school. Playing educational quizzes is an enjoyable way to learn if you are in the 3rd, 4th or 5th grade - aged 8 to 11.

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When writing or speaking, there are times where the language should be formal. In other situations, the language should be informal. When writing a story, the situation in the story would depend on the language used. If the correct type of language is not used, it might sound strange. In this quiz, students will determine the type of language that is being used and which statement should be used depending on the situation.

1.
Which phrase or sentence below is written using informal English?
Sarah should get a job, so she will have something to do during the daytime.
Sarah is being a lazy couch potato since she hasn’t done anything all day.
Sarah has been sleeping on the couch all day.
Sarah usually spends her days napping on the sofa.
"Couch potato" is informal English.
2.
Which phrase or sentence below is written using formal English?
The students had to study for a long time for the test.
The students had to study days and nights for the test.
The students had to study forever for the test.
The students had to cram for the test.
This is the only sentence that specifically states the meaning without using exaggerations.
3.
Which phrase or sentence below is written using formal English?
Did you get the test back?
You got the test back, didn't ya?
Yo test is back.
Didn't ya get your test back?
This question uses proper English and it is formal English.
4.
SITUATION: You are speaking to a teacher about your test grade.
What words or phrase would you hear?
Why did you hurt my grade like this?
Why did ya give me a bad grade?
How did I make a bad grade on this?
I must have been drowsing off during the last test.
This situation should use formal English.
5.
SITUATION: You are writing a story about students. They are talking after class to each other.
What would be included in the story?
Hey!
Hello, friends!
Good day, Sarah and Mary!
How are you today?
In this situation, informal language would be used.
6.
SITUATION: You are in a small group discussion about whales.
What words or phrase would you hear?
Whales are large mammals with blowholes.
Whales are humongous beasts that eat everything.
Whales consume different types of fish.
The large whale's diet consists of fish and plants.
In a small discussion, the group would speak informally.
7.
Which phrase or sentence below is written using informal English?
This piece of furniture costs $12.
Twelve dollars is the price of the table.
The table costs twelve dollars.
This junk costs just twelve bucks.
The words "junk" and "bucks" are what make this informal English.
8.
SITUATION: You are speaking in front of the class about your report on birds. What words or phrase would you hear?
These birds are da bomb!
Robins are usually red on some part of their bodies and they live in North America.
Robins are sorta fantabulous.
Robins are spiffy because they are red.
Students would use formal language when speaking in front of the class.
9.
Which phrase or sentence below is written using formal English?
The car was a disaster since the children had been in there.
The car was a complete eyesore from the mess.
Children are such a mess when they are in their parents' cars.
Children are usually at fault for their parents' cars being dirty.
Slang words were not used in this sentence.
10.
Which phrase or sentence below is written using formal English?
The little girl was sad when the dog was lost.
The little girl was feeling blue after her dog ran away.
The little girl boo-hooed when her dog took off.
When her dog packed its bags and moved away, tears poured out of the little girl's eyes.
This sentence uses exact and proper wording.
Author:  Amy Flanders

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