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A formal occasion is an event in which a person’s behavior reflects serious or important reasons for being there. Men wear suits and women wear dresses for formal occasions. When something is formal, activities might be rehearsed or so well-practiced that people know well what their roles and responsibilities are.

  • A wedding is usually a formal occasion.
  • People wear formal attire when attending a funeral. (attire = clothing)
  • Office attire is formal, but it depends on a company’s policies regarding dress.
  • We received a formal letter inviting us to attend a ceremony.
  • Everyone should learn how to write a formal letter.
  • A professor uses a formal manner of speech when giving a lecture.
  • Students in elementary school and high school address their teachers in a formal manner, using Mr. , Miss, Mrs. or Ms. and then the teacher’s last name.
  • My name is Mr. Lawrence, but you don’t have to be so formal. Just call me Paul.
  • Americans generally are very informal. (The opposite of "formal" is "informal.")

The word "formally" is an adverb:

  • Ron and Sara were formally introduced to each other.
  • We weren’t formally introduced, but I know who you are.
  • A man was formally charged by the county prosecutor for violating laws related to the construction of new buildings.
  • Office workers these days dress less formally than they did twenty years ago.
  • A man who wears a tuxedo is formally dressed for an important occasion.

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November 18, 2019



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