Register is the level and style of language that is appropriate for a particular situation or context. English speakers usually use register without thinking about it, but understanding it can make a huge difference in the way they communicate.
Register can be formal, informal or neutral, depending on the purpose of the writing and speech. Students must understand the purpose of the writing or speech before they can choose which register to use. This may involve knowing what information needs to be conveyed, what the main objective of the writing or speech is, and whether it is informative, argumentative, persuading, describing, narrating, sharing cause and effect, etc.
Formal register is often used in professional, academic or legal settings where communication is expected to be respectful and uninterrupted. This register avoids slang or colloquial terms, refrains from contractions, and follows grammar rules carefully. Examples of this type of register would be a business presentation, a TED talk, the Encyclopaedia Brittanica or “Gray’s Anatomy.”
Informal register is generally used in casual settings and with friends. This register is akin to chatting with people who you know well and whom you trust (like your family doctor or a friend). It may be informal if the person in question has specialized knowledge, but it is usually not casual if the relationship is not longstanding or friendly, for example, talking to a school board trustee or a parent.
Neutral register is commonly used in everyday transactions and allows both first and second person. It is more formal than informal, but not as rigid or constrained as the formal register. It is not uncommon to see this type of register in newspapers, advertisements, or in social media posts.
This register is most useful in a text written by someone who knows their subject very well and has a good grasp of the language. It is also common to see this register in books like Shakespeare, the King James Bible or Tennyson’s poetry.
There are many different registers, and a good writer can find the right register for their writing at any point in a story or novel. This is especially true when you are writing about characters, who are not native speakers of English.
In fiction, register is a necessary skill to master. It is a great way to create consistency in the language of your characters and gives your readers a clear understanding of how they speak.
Register can be a challenging concept to grasp, but with practice and guidance it is easy to learn. In this article we will look at some of the most common registers in English, and how to use them effectively for your writing.
The language register of a piece of writing is important because it is the foundation of what makes the text read and sound as it does. It determines the voice of the character and how the story moves forward.
The language register of a piece of writing can be difficult to get your head around, but it is an important topic for every writer to understand. It can help you to avoid using adverbs and description to describe the characters’ voices, or even to write in a more consistent manner so that your readers are able to follow your story.