What Are Three Types of Communication Genres?


Without the ability to communicate with those around you, your life might be rather dull. On a daily basis, you likely communicate in three different ways with family members, friends and colleagues, perhaps without even thinking about it. These ways are orally or verbally, through the written word and through body language.

Verbal Communication

  • If you routinely find yourself surrounded by other people, you most likely use verbal communication with significant frequency. Verbal or oral communication---in other words, communicating with those around you through speaking---is quick and effective. Unlike written communication, which may be impractical in different situations, and body language, which can be tricky to read, verbal communication is accurate and you can use it in virtually every situation.

Written Communication

  • Though you may consider verbal communication as your most-used form of communicating, written communication can be an important part of your day. If you work in an office, for example, you communicate through writing several times a day, especially if you sit at a computer writing emails. Answering a text message on your cell phone is written communication. Even posting status updates on social media websites such as Facebook is a form of this type of communication.

Body Language Communication

  • You may not intentionally communicate through body language as frequently as through verbal and written communication, but it can still be an effective way of getting a message across. If you're on a date, for example, and your date is sitting with her arms crossed and body slightly aimed away from you, her body language may be indicating that she's not having an enjoyable time. As people get more familiar with each other, they'll often be able to communicate easily through body language.

What's Appropriate

  • Though knowing how to use all three types of communication is an asset in your day-to-day dealings, one communication method can be more appropriate than another in certain settings. If you're in a meeting, for example, you'll be asked to communicate verbally. If you're in a movie theater, though, a text message to a friend is more suitable than speaking aloud. If you and a friend find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, you may use body language to indicate to the friend that you're ready to leave.

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