Formal Letter vs Informal Letter

Formal letters and informal letters are opposites styles of writing. Formal letters are usually classed as business letters but informal letters can be classed as many different things and have an extremely wide variety of possibilites.

Although following a similar structure, the topics and language used for informal letters are more personal and relaxed. Concepts not allowed in a formal letter, such as contractions and colloquial phrases, are permitted in an informal letter. Due to these major differences, it is clear that the purposes for each of the letters will also be contrary.

Informal Letter Reasons

Here are some suggestions of why you might write an informal letter:

  • Special occasions: birthdays, weddings, new baby, moving house (to give congratulations or acknowledgments).

  • Social interaction: to speak with family or friends you have not seen in a while.
  • Informative: if you need to tell someone certain information or details in an informal manner.
  • Appointments: when contacting someone casually such as your neighbour, plumber, babysitter etc.

Reasons for writing a formal letter can be found in what is a formal letter. It might be useful to have a look at business letter vs formal letter so you can understand all the different types of formal letters and clarify when to write one. View some business letter samples for further details.


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