Plain and Easy English

Plain and Easy English are both ways of writing that are simple to understand. By writing in Plain or Easy English, it makes information accessible to a broader audience who may otherwise have difficulty understanding.

What’s the Difference Between Plain and Easy English?

Both Plain English and Easy English are used to simplify information. However there are key differences which are noted below.

Plain English is a way of writing that is simple and clear. It enables you to transform formal and complex documents to a writing style that readers can easily understand. It combines clear, concise expressions, simple sentence structure and a design that is easy to navigate. Use Plain English to reach a general audience in a concise, warm and informative way.

Plain English uses:

  • Short sentences,
  • Simple words,
  • Dot points and clear structuring.

Easy English is a way of writing for people who have problems reading and understanding the written word. Easy English is a more accessible and alternative form of communication. It is easier to understand than Plain English. It is a very visual resource where we add images, designs and/or icons to the document.

Easy English includes:

  • only essential information,
  • colours and images to make meaning clear,
  • explanations of difficult words in a glossary.

How to Write in Easy English

  • Use simple and easy words
  • Write short sentences
  • Repeat pronouns (such as I, you, we)
  • Use lists
  • Include only the important information
  • Use titles to make text easier to read
  • Use images to explain concepts
  • Use large fonts
  • Leave lots of white space on the page.

Benefits of Plain and Easy English

  • Fast – Texts written in Plain or Easy English are faster to read and to understand.
  • Reaching out – By writing in Plain or Easy English you can reach more people.
  • Better translations – A text written in Plain or Easy English translates well.
  • Better understanding – Texts written in Plain or Easy English are very clear and won’t be misunderstood.
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