Key Difference – Written English vs Spoken English
There are numerous differences between written English and spoken English, with the main distinction being that written English is text-based while spoken English is not. In this article, we will explore some examples of these differences.
- Written English is found in texts and other materials, such as books, newspapers, articles, magazines, letters, and notices, and can be used to convey messages, news, or knowledge.
- Spoken English is used for conversing with others and is more natural and less organized, with differences in accents and manners of speaking between people from different contexts.
- The flow of language, organization, and register (formality) of language are some of the key differences between written and spoken English.
What is Written English?
Written English refers to the English language found in texts and other materials, such as books, newspapers, articles, magazines, letters, notices, and so on. It allows individuals to become aware of something, be it a message, news, or knowledge. Written English can also be used to express various emotions. For example, when reading a letter from a friend or loved one, the reader can infer the attitude of the writer through the choice of words and diction. A distinctive feature of written English is its organization, allowing ideas to be structured and presented in a clear and coherent manner. However, this organizational factor is not apparent in spoken English.
What is Spoken English?
Spoken English is what one hears and uses for conversing with others. It is more natural and less organized than written English, as individuals express what they feel, think, and see at any given moment. This lack of organization is similar to the literary technique of stream of consciousness, in which a character’s thoughts and ideas are presented as they come to mind. In spoken English, responses are rarely structured as they would be in written language. Additionally, there are differences in accents and manners of speaking between people from different contexts, such as Americans, Canadians, or Britons. Spoken English also features pauses between speech, known as utterances, which are not found in written language. The register, or formality, of spoken language is generally more informal compared to written English, although exceptions do exist.
What is the Difference Between Written English and Spoken English?
Definitions of Written English and Spoken English:
- Written English: Written English refers to the English language found in texts and other materials.
- Spoken English: Spoken English is what one hears and uses for conversing with others.
Characteristics of Written English and Spoken English:
- Flow of language:
- Written English: There is a steady flow of language.
- Spoken English: There are pauses, referred to as utterances.
- Written English: Written English is much more structured.
- Spoken English: Spoken English is not as structured as written English.
- Written English: Language can be both formal and informal depending on the text.
- Spoken English: Language is mostly informal.