Did you know that general English and professional English have been distinguished apart? Aside from the fact that general English is commonly used for day to day conversations, business English is learned and used for specific purposes. The difference also between the two kinds of English as forms of communication is the purpose of why people are learning the language.

Features of Professional English and General English:

English is widely used worldwide as a language for communication, has become the lingua franca in businesses for many years already. When it comes to differentiating general English to professional English is their specificity.

People who learn general English usually stay on the same level as the others while those who learn professional English advance further to acquire relevant skills and techniques. Professional English uses plenty of terminologies; people who desire to learn this specific communication skill must expect the use of certain terminologies that tells it apart from general English.

Professional English is more extensive and specific. It is mainly used as a language tool for business, as it is applied in a more professional context. Learning business English can be empowering for individuals who aim for their professional growth, it also helps in enriching one’s personal development which may lead to opening doors for new opportunities.

On the other hand, General English focuses more on the day to day conversation and involves the use of basic vocabulary and grammar. It leans more on a casual tone. While both are kinds of English language as forms of communication, the approach and objectives of these two widely vary from each other. The approach for the general English leans more on the basic, conversational and day-to-day use of words, while business English is a systematic and complex mode of speaking the said language. It follows a more disciplined approach in order to deliver a professional way of speaking and conversation

Differences Between Professional English and General English:

Following are the areas where Professional English varies with General English:

  1. Professional English has Direction

Professional English is more task-oriented, has a sense of purpose, direction and need while a General English learner may not know what or when to use a sentence in a conversation or a given circumstance.

2. Specific Terms

A professional English user inculcates a habit use specific terms related to business or industry he is representing, like accounting, advertising, human resource, social media, marketing, business plans, etc. While a general English user may or may not have specific terms related to his everyday situation.

3. Difference in Motivation

A general English learner has less of a motivation than a professional English learner in terms of preparation. The former uses words in day to day context or everyday situation and can be considered an informal usage of words, while the latter prepares for the specific terms to be used in conversation with his boss or while giving a presentation.

4. Formal and Informal

Another simple difference between professional English and general English is that the former is mostly formal language while the latter English is mostly informal language.

Differences are shown through a change in words

When you are requesting something….

GE: Please make sure you arrive on time.                                   PE: Please ensure that your arrival is on time.

GE: Please give him your travel plans.                                       PE: Please provide him with your itinerary

Get & Receive

GE: When will I get the package?                                              PE: When will I receive the email?

GE: Will I get the reports back?                                                 PE: would I receive the reports?

Talk & Discuss

GE: Let’s talk about it now.                                                        PE: Let’s discuss it now.

Need& Require

GE: I need some help.                                                                 PE: I require some assistance.

Tell & Explain

GE: Please tell why you are late.                                                PE: Please explain why you are late.

Talk more & Elaborate

GE: Let’s talk more about this topic.                                           PE: Let’s elaborate on this topic.

5. General English demands a different type of attention while business English demands another.

Terms or vocabulary used in professional English are mostly formal and its usage is mostly to increase its effectiveness and enhance the quality of business dealings. Professional English also has its own set of abbreviations like FYI (for your information), PR (public relations), AGM (Annual general meeting), etc.

In A Nutshell:

Using appropriate English in the professional realm is a skill that is greatly appreciated. You can be a very fluent speaker but unless you are aware of the differences between general English and the English you need to use in the professional field, you have a long way to go. Therefore, in order to succeed in your professional field, you must have a good grasp of professional English.

About the Author

Indulekha Prabha

My name is Indulekha Prabha. I am an English teacher and a content writer by profession. When I'm not working you can find me writing fiction, reading poetry and painting.

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