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Register and Audience

'Register' means the tone and level of formality of language. Whether speaking or writing, you must always choose the register appropriate to your audience and purpose. Standard English is always appropriate to formal situations, as well as many informal situations (for example when addressing people you do not know). At other times, fine judgement must be used. You should consider the age and background of your expected audience along with your purpose in writing or speaking.

This quiz tests your ability to distinguish between different registers.

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  1. Which of the following sentences does NOT share the same register as the others?
    Three of the sentences share a formal register and might be found in a gardening book
  2. Which of the following sentences does NOT share the same register as the others?
  3. Which of the following sentences does NOT share the same register as the others?
  4. Which of the following sentences does NOT share the same register as the others?
    Three of the answers share an informal register. You would expect to hear good friends speak like this with each other
  5. Which of the following sentences does NOT share the same register as the others?
    'Really enjoyed it' would work perfectly in a film review aimed at a different audience
  6. Which of the following sentences does NOT share the same register as the others?
    Here the register is dictated by the speaker's purpose, although the audience might well be the same
  7. Which of the following sentences does NOT share the same register as the others?
    The first three sentences share a formal register and are likely to be found in a broadsheet newspaper. The fourth would be more suited to a tabloid (using all capital letters for 'soars' along with the word 'shock' is an example of over-emphasis)
  8. Which of the following sentences does NOT share the same register as the others?
    Job advertisements vary in register - the difference indicates who the audience is expected to be
  9. Which of the following sentences does NOT share the same register as the others?
  10. Which of the following sentences does NOT share the same register as the others?

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