Linguistic Pecularities Of Contracts in English

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No extra payment is to be effected for any excess weight.

Very few words are borrowed from French. The most widespread of them are force majeure, which is an essential clause of almost any contract and serves to describe some unpredictable events that may happen to goods while being delivered or other reasons, and amicably, which means friendly.

e.g. Very often the parties amicably agree upon a settlement of the claim in question.

The Sellers and the Buyers shall take all measures to settle amicably any disputes.

So, in contracts a person can come across a definite number of words and word combinations which make up lexical peculiarities of their texts. They all are rather bookish and belong to formal style of written English, not being used in informal English and rarely used in spoken formal English.


The research has allowed to reveal a specific character of contract as a type of business correspondence. The first, and most important of all, reason for considering contract business correspondence is formal style of its language. It means that in texts of contracts we can find a bright example of formal written English.

Formal style of English has such main features as conventionality of expression, absence of emotiveness, encoded character of the language and general syntactic mode of combining several ideas within one sentence. All that is revealed in texts of contracts through their vocabulary, grammar and style.

Stylistic peculiarities of business correspondence are based on the following factors. The syntactic pattern of business documents is one long sentence which consists of separate numbered clauses divided by commas and semicolons. Every clause is capitalised. That is done to show the equality of items of a document.

Written business English goes impersonal style. It means there are no direct addressees, passive constructions are used instead of active, a great number of amount words, modal verbs might and could instead of can and may. This all is done for a document to sound tentative and tactful.

No connectors are used in business correspondence as they convey a little information. In formal style whom is used instead of who. If there is a need in prepositions, they go before whom, which is not typical of informal style at all.

Stylistic peculiarities of formal written English also imply usage of words in their primary logic meaning and absence of contextual meanings. Formal English is characterised by usage of special terms. They all are precise in meaning and rather bookish. Among them there are a lot of words of the Latin, Greek and French origin, replaced in spoken English by words of the Anglo-Saxon origin.

These factors make up the standard of documents’ writing. Special forms help to focus readers’ attention on major information and simplify process of making a deal.

There are the following theoretical problems in studying the problem. First of all, there is a difficulty to draw a line between formal and informal English, as the latter influences formal style greatly. Sentences in documents are too long and bookish to be used freely. Documents are devoid of personal pronouns I, we, you. The language of documents lacks force and vividness to keep strict to the point. Meanwhile, it is hard to keep one’s attention while reading them due to this trait.

Contract is a type of a business document presenting an agreement for the delivery of goods, services, etc., approved and signed by the Buyer and the Seller. Its aim is to state conditions binding two parties in a deal and to reach agreement between them.

Реферат опубликован: 28/01/2009