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I've been looking into formal writing lately. How does one learn the formal register? Where does one start?
Do I just start reading research and business papers? I find those things incredible dull and wouldn't want to spend lots of the time reading those. Now I do understand that learning can't always be fun but there should be other ways to learn this.
I did notice that phrasal verbs are avoided in formal writing, which is a good thing because untill today, I haven't had a clue what a phrasal verb is. So the first thing that I have to do is learning new verbs that can replace phrasal verbs. After I am done with that, what should I do then? What would you guys suggest?
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AnonymousHow does one learn the formal register?
Most any published written nonfiction is formal writing. Take your pick.
Anonymouslearning new verbs that can replace phrasal verbs
Yes. Use your dictionary or thesaurus.
Anonymous After I am done with that, what should I do then?
Keep reading. Start writing.
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Anonymous How does one learn the formal register?

What degree of formality do you want?


There are extremely formal registers for diplomacy and other contexts where a formal protocol is used.

There are somewhat formal registers for situations such as starting off a business relationship, a cover letter for an application, or a plea for a remedy.

There is standard business English when you are conducting a regular or ongoing business communication with people you know well.

There is academic English for writing articles and theses. This formal English uses very specific vocabulary depending on the field of study.


There are many sources of each style of writing.


The various on-line writing labs (OWLs) are a good place to learn the fundamentals.

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1 /

http://www.tsu.edu/owl /

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Comments  
Thank you for the pointers. I have to painfully admit that my active vocabulary is rather small, which is probably the main reason I'm unable to write a formal letter. Expanding my active vocabulary is probably the right way to go and deliberately practising my writing skills is something I have to work on too. I made the mistake that I only write what I know instead of picking up more phrases and do some rote studying.
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