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Hi teachers,

When I look up a word in a dictionary, it is remarked either informal, slang, spoken, formal, literary, with brackets around them. I don't really understand them all.

When it is informal, it can mean the word is used in casual conversation, which also means it's used in spoken. Why informal and spoken? Then there is slang, which seems informal too, so I am very confused.

Thank you in advance.

Tinanam
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Hi,

When I look up a word in a dictionary, it is remarked either informal, slang, spoken, formal, literary, with brackets around them. I don't really understand them all.

When it is informal, it can mean the word is used in casual conversation, which also means it's used in spoken. Why informal and spoken? Then there is slang, which seems informal too, so I am very confused.

There are no precise boundaries around how these terms are used.

Here are a few very general comments.

informal - casual. eg you might speak or write to your pal that way, but not to the Queen of England.

spoken - said but not usually written

slang - words that are very informal and often only used in special contexts, eg by accountants, eg by street gangs.

Clive
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Hi Clive,

Thank you for explaning them to me. Does that mean slang are mostly vulgar words?

Tinanam
Hi,

Vulgar has two meanings.

1. Likely to offend

2. Used by ordinary people

Some slang may be 'both', some 'one but not the other'.

Clive
Hi Clive,

Thank you for your help.

Tinanam
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