The use of language (formal or informal) depends on the situation and conditions in which we stand. Formal language is more common when we write; informal language is more common when we speak in situations that involve people we know well.

We are usually taught English in a formal form in school, but it turns out that some informal patterns are important to know because they are often used in everyday casual conversation. It seemed more friendly and relaxed for each speaker in certain situations.

As in everyday parlance in the United States, people are quite happy to do things “real quick.” In casual conversation, American English speakers often use adjective forms in adverb places. Lots of them may drop the -ly from the adverbs and genuinely use adjective forms to modify verbs. A very common example is in the use of ‘real’ as in “Let’s get some snack real quick” instead of “Let’s get some snack really quickly.”

Another examples of how Americans use adverbs in an informal situation are represent as follows:

  1. Today is going slowly >          Today is going slow
  2. Drive safely                 >          Drive safe
  3. Take it easily               >          Take it easy
  4. Doing well                   >          Doing good

Americans generally do not go with this pattern in writing and formal conversation. Instead, they use the -ly ending, or for example the word “good” in casual conversation will become “well” in formal cases. These patterns are not particular slang or impolite words, and you can even hear some people use them at work, job fairs, or any other situation (informal).

Grammatical patterns in conversation do not always match the patterns used in formal writing or speech, but it is more flexible in casual speaking. Understanding this will help us understand Americans when they speak, and it will help us get along well with them.

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