Is There Any Difference Between Written And Spoken English Grammar?


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Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
Not officially. French, for instance, used to have different written and spoken verb forms; English has nothing like this. However, in practice there are some key differences; not so much between written and spoken, as between formal and informal writing.
In spoken English, we nearly always use contractions or short forms like "I'd" or "don't". We also write these when formality isn't important - in a friendly email, say - but a formal document such as a report or a solicitor's letter should use full forms: "I would," "do not."
Spoken/informal English also tends to leave out non-essential words like subjects (if they're clear from the context) and auxiliary verbs. "Like a drink after work?" is normal speech and/or informal writing, but in formal "correct" writing you would use the full form "Would you like..?"
However, the major difference is not of grammar but of vocabulary; formal language often uses different words altogether. ("I would like to invite you to join me...")
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
There are many verbal contractions that will be refused by a spell-checker. Consider the phrase "Would have": it will get through a checker if misspelled as "Would of" and may be blocked as the contraction "Would've".

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