Differences Between Business English and Conversational English

Conversational English and business English are the two concepts we see in our English learning process. So, what is the difference between business English and conversational English and which one is more suitable for your purpose? You can find all these answers in this article.

Learning Conversational and Business English

English, the official language in more than 56 countries around the world, has become a mandatory language in various fields for a long time. So, people learn this language for communication as a hobby or as the need for self-development.

Visiting different countries, understanding foreign movies and entertainment sector easier or the interest in the British culture may be among your reasons to learn the English language. On the other hand, English is important and essential not only for your self-development, but also for a more advanced career.

Well, do you know conversational and business English have distinctions at certain points? These two concepts have certain differences in various ways. If you want to learn the differences between business English and conversational English in your English training and if you want to learn which one is more suitable for your objectives, you are at the right place.

Before talking about the differences between these two concepts, let’s start with talking about what business and conversational English terms cover.

What Is Conversational English?






We can define Conversational English as the language that people use in their daily lives. So, this concept signifies the common language formed with common daily expressions. While 90% of the daily English language that can be spoken and understood by almost anyone due to the less frequent use of technical terms covers sincere and simple language, it may sometimes have words that are not used in written or official language.

Below you can find some of the most common phrases used in conversational English:

  • What are you doing here?
  • Can you tell me your name?
  • Are you a student?
  • Are you married?
  • Where do you work?
  • What is your aim in life?
  • Can I borrow your jacket?
  • What is your favourite color?

Some of the written abbreviations we often see in social media are as follows:

  • LOL: Laugh out loud
  • IMO: In my opinion
  • IMHO: In my humble opinion
  • OMG: Oh my God
  • IDK: I don’t know.
  • THX: Thanks

What Is Business English?






Business English is a use of language mainly designed and shaped for occupations, such as international trade, domestic trade and finance. This concept of business English is regarded as an expert level in learning and teaching English. Business English, which represents a language use with a sector-based terminology and sentence patterns, are supported with abbreviations accepted in the business world. Also, this language form is used in business-oriented correspondence, such as official correspondence, presentation, business reports and meeting texts. Business English requires communication and writing skills with sector and expertise specific terms, and is learned through language training for helping the students gain command on certain terms and patterns.

You can see some of the uses of business English below:

  • Your project is behind schedule.
  • We have set a deadline for this project.
  • It is time to form a team of staff who can do this job well.
  • We need to start this from scratch.
  • I am delighted to be in this company.
  • Let us meet up at our office today.

You can see some of the most common abbreviations below:

  • ASAP: As soon as possible
  • FYI: For your information
  • BTW: By the way
  • TBD: To be decided
  • Attn: Attention
  • APPROX: Approximately
  • TBA: To be announced
  • ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival

Differences Between Business and Conversational English

Since we have learned what conversational and business English is, let’s see the differences that distinguish between these two concepts.

Intended Uses

Why do you want to learn English? Your answer to this question will somewhat determine your choice between these two language uses. Conversational English and business English are two concepts that serve for different purposes. While conversational English is used in daily conversations, business English is preferred for occupational or academic purposes. Additionally, conversational English is intensely daily conversation oriented; it involves using basic vocabulary, grammar, standard words and patterns.

Business English, on the other hand, is more comprehensive and unique; businesses adopted this English since people applied it in a more professional context.

At this stage, learning business English will create a strengthening effect for individuals who aim for career advancement and help them open the doors for new opportunities through self-development. In this sense, business English users focus on using certain terms related to represented sectors such as accounting, advertisement, HR, social media, marketing, business plans etc.

Language and Style

Of course, it is not surprising to have language and style differences between conversational and business English. Conversational English does not have difficult terms and individual prefers daily wording. Sentence patterns are known by everyone and have clear characteristics. On the other hand, business English is accepted as a more advanced language level and involves terms that enable in-depth focus on various contents. For example, business English during a presentation will be entirely different from an English used when you are networking. “Presentation English” is highly official and controlled; conversational language involves entertainment and arbitrariness but still operates within the limits of being kind. In short, while business English has official and serious structure, conversational English uses a form of spontaneity and comfortable communication.

If you want to learn business English, you should consider that you will need to use certain terminology other than general English, depending on your institution or sector. On the other hand, individuals who learn conversational English may not need to learn certain terms, as they will only need to talk and use certain words. By the way, you need to remember that you might look weird when you use business English in daily circumstances or on the contrary, you might look frivolous if you use daily language at a business setting.

As a result, although both business and conversational English are two types of the English language as a means of communication, the approaches and purposes of these two are entirely different. In this sense, it is up to you to choose the most suitable type for your needs and work on that type. You can access English language training for every level at the English Ninjas platform and learn English easier and entertainingly with native English tutors.

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