Register

Register is a very important word in language learning. What does it mean? Put simply, register is the level of language we choose to use according to the situation. There are things that we would say to our friends, that we probably wouldn’t say if we happened to meet the Prime Minister, or the President. Here’s an easy example of different registers:

(to your best friend) Wanna cuppa?

(to an important visiting customer) Would you like a cup of tea?

Register helps people to identify with social groups, too. If you wanted to mix with a group of builders in Newcastle, it would not be good to use a ‘high’ level of good grammar:

May I ask with whom you had lunch?

Better to say:

Who d’ye have lunch with?

Learners of English must know rules of grammar in order to produce correct language, of course. But they should also be aware of poor grammar, slang words and sentence constructions that deviate from the standard forms. Learning songs is a good way to get used to hearing more common, colloquial language, as is watching cartoons and films.