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This is for people who grade, practice for or who have taken the FCE.

In other forum, I saw this advice posted to someone who had written a draft paragraph:

Hey, its not too bad but you should use more colloquial expresions like wanna, gotta, kinda etc. and i wouldnt use expresions like could, would because in my opinion its too formal. You can also use more colloquial words, there are a lot of websites, just use google Emotion: smile And dont forget that you dont want to be like other FCE participants, you want to capture FCE commission

In a later post in the same thread, he says, And as I said you can say instead of I am -> I'm or as soon as possible-> a.s.a.p. The more colloquial grammar and words you learn, the better mark you get on FCE. And if you fix this little mistakes, the tone will be great Emotion: smile

Is it possibly true that using "gotta" and "wanna" will get you a higher mark on this exam than using "have to" and "want to"?

Please tell me this poster is mistaken!
Comments  
Hi Barb,
Here's my two cents.

You know I'm not a teacher, but I've taken the FCE (and the CAE and the CPE), so I think I know enough about those tests' requirements.

The FCE writing task consists of two pieces of writing, one of which can be an informal letter or e-mail, and I guess the writer of that "piece of advice" was referring to this type of composition.
If my experience (as a student and former candidate) is anything to go by, they'd better forget about wanna, gonna and the like, even in informal pieces of writing. Even though the register has to be colloquial (they'd receive a low mark if they used too formal a vocabulary, or if they used an inconsistent register in the same composition), the grammar must be correct.

This is a short extract from the FCE Handbook for teachers (page 19 here ):
In Part 1, the task will be in the form of a letter or email, with notes or prompts to be addressed. The range of functions tested may include expressing enthusiasm, requesting and giving information, explaining, apologising, thanking, suggesting and expressing references. Candidates are expected to respond to both the letter and email in grammatically correct English, and should note that abbreviated text style language is not acceptable. Both letters and emails should have an opening salutation, paragraphing and closing phrasing (although no postal addresses are required for the letter). The degree of formality required in the task will vary according to the situation and the target reader; candidates are expected to assess this from the information given in the instructions and the tone of the input letter or email.
Later, on page 22:
Students should be aware that in email tasks, they will be expected to write grammatically correct sentences with accurate spelling and punctuation in a style suited to the situation and target reader. The abbreviated language used in text messages will not be considered appropriate to the task.
So, in short, I'm gonna tell you the poster is badly mistaken! Emotion: smile
Students should be aware that in email tasks, they will be expected to write grammatically correct sentences with accurate spelling and punctuation in a style suited to the situation and target reader. The abbreviated language used in text messages will not be considered appropriate to the task.
It's hard to tell if "gonna/wanna" would be accepted then, because they are actual words that appear in dictionaries (learner's dictionaries too).
Crazy Poster in Other Forum userAnd dont forget that you dont want to be like other FCE participants, you want to capture FCE commission
LOL, how about dropping the F-bomb in front of the commission? That would make you sound sooo proficient and sooo much like a native speaker! They are gonna be impressed! Emotion: big smile
Grammar GeekPlease tell me this poster is mistaken!
Well, he even said that "could" and "would" are formal... [:^)] And considering what Tanit quoted, I would say that while "gonna" might be accepted, "kinda" and others probably wouldn't.
I wouldn't take any advice from that poster.
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Hi
KooyeenIt's hard to tell if "gonna/wanna" would be accepted then, because they are actual words that appear in dictionaries (learner's dictionaries too) ... I would say that while "gonna" might be accepted ...
Well, perhaps [:^)] ... maybe Emotion: thinking ... possibly [:^)] ... but I can tell you for sure my teachers would've marked both wrong. Do you think the fact they were respectively British & Irish might have something to do with this?
(I'm just joking, but let's not forget this is a UK test. Examiners are -- generally -- British, too, although they would not downgrade anybody for using consistently other variants of English.)
Tanit but I can tell you for sure my teachers would've marked both wrong
I knew it, lol, that's why I wouldn't take that risk. In "theory", it might be accepted, for the same reason that in theory the f-word should be accepted too in informal writing (if the assignment is an email to a friend, you can always say "Hey, I use the f-word all the time when talking to my friends")... but in practice, I wouldn't take such risks, you know. Emotion: smile
Tanit, thank you very much for that informative post, and thanks, K, as always for your refreshing insight.

The f-bomb idea is an interesting one Emotion: stick out tongue
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You're very welcome, Barb.
Grammar GeekHey, its not too bad but you should use more colloquial expresions like wanna, gotta, kinda etc. and i wouldnt use expresions like could, would because in my opinion its too formal.

This kind of English usage really kills me![N]