What Is The Difference Between Business English and Literary English? - Online English Tips

English is one of the most widely spoken languages around the world and it is extremely important in many cases to be either fluent in it or to be able to at least speak in correct business English terms. You may be wondering what is the difference between business English and literary English. The difference is basically summed up in the form and purpose. If you are a second language learner, with English being your second language, you are likely going to focus on business English first, although you may also enjoy learning and exploring literary English.

Business English is the written and spoken English that is proper both in word choice, organization, and of the appropriate tone for conducting business. In business, you may be required to speak, read, and write in a language that your co-workers, supervisors, and clients can understand quickly and effectively for the business to profit. There are some formalities that are employed in business English that are unnecessary and in fact, look out of place in literary English. Literary English may take a variety of forms such as poetry and other creative examples. Most business English will require a focus on facts and the type of conversation necessary to get a job done rather than to enjoy and understand a novel of fiction written in literary English.

One extremely well-recognized form of literary English is the works of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare's sonnets and plays are considered classic examples of literary English and are studied by students around the world. While these works are fascinating for their insight into human behaviour and situations that even people in modern times can relate to, they are not written in a form that would be appropriate or perhaps easily understood for all most all business. Much of the business English you might use could concern confirming what the instructions are to complete tasks, the hours and days that should be worked, and how much you will be paid or pay someone else to work for you.

Understanding both business and literary English is a great goal. You can work on both at once, or if your first concern is learning English as a second language so that you can work and function in a primarily English speaking environment, you need to focus on business English. You should practice speaking, writing and reading English as often as you can so the words and phrases begin to become more natural to you to use in the right situation.

About the Author:

Grace Rimando graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor's degree in Communication. She is currently working at TalktoCanada as the Assistant to the Programs Manager.

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