This tag is for questions regarding formal, versus informal words and usage.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

4
votes
1answer
59 views

How informal exactly is “good stuff”?

I work at a large financial services company in Germany where we have rather formal ways. We have a manager who frequently uses the expression "good stuff" to comment on progress and results of ...
-2
votes
0answers
30 views

Formal email RSVP for a single person [on hold]

Suppose your name is Kyle Robertson and you receive a formal (finctional) invitation by email: Ambassador of Japan and Dr. Noboku Sasae request the pleasure of the company of Mr. Kyle Robertson ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

“Hey man” interpreted as rude when greeting a not very close friend [on hold]

I feel comfortable when close friend greeting with "hey man". I'm not sure if this is interpreted rude when greeting not very close friends. Should I use this expression here or is there an ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Usage of “like” for listing examples in scientific papers [duplicate]

Can I use "like" as well as "such as" in formal writings, such as thesis? My hunch is that "like" is way less formal, but maybe I'm wrong. Each pattern can impose constraints upon the text, such ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Should a formal letter end with “thanks” or “thank you”? [duplicate]

I am going to write the formal letter. I got confused to end the formal letter with thanks or thank you.
1
vote
0answers
31 views

What is an eloquent way to ask or confirm if a product or service is free? [closed]

In a formal or professional setting, what is the best way to bring up the cost of a service that might be perceived free of charge? In my specific situation, I purchased a product that has been called ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

“bit more explanation” vs. “bit more of an explanation” [duplicate]

How the following two differ: We'd need a bit more of an explanation on your definition. We'd need a bit more explanation on your definition.
7
votes
2answers
114 views

The Royal We: Who are “we”?

Although King George III of Great Britain did respond to a Loyal Address using the personal pronoun I: My Lords, I thank you for this dutiful and affectionate Address. The satisfaction which you ...
5
votes
1answer
46 views

Use of kinda and kind of in fiction [closed]

I realize that "kinda" is an informal form of "kind of". However, would "kinda" be appropriate in fiction or dialogue? Or would it be more acceptable to stick to "kind of"? This is for a fiction novel ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Is it correct to use Exclamation mark(!) in the introduction of a Professional Email? [closed]

I work with teams that are in different geographic zones. This is how I usually, start the email introduction. for example:- Hi Linda, Good Morning! or Greetings! Is it correct to use exclamation ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Can use 'NO' instead of 'NOT'? [migrated]

No valid account number was specified or valid account number was not specified I think both of them are correct but which one is more common? And which one is more formal?
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Omitting the verb and complement in an answer [closed]

I was watching Person of Interest, where this bit of conversation happened: -We can't leave him here. -I'm not. As in "I'm not leaving him here". Even though it's perfectly understandable, ...
2
votes
0answers
78 views

When writing an informal letter, is it advisable to use the em rule at all?

I must point out before explaining my situation that I'm an English learner. However, for this question I need the help of an expert; that's why I'm asking here and not in ELL. When writing an ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

“element identification techniques” or “techniques of element identification” [duplicate]

I don't know how this phenomenon is called. Simply put, I can either put the noun to the end and place it's properties before, or I can use "of". What is the difference, is some form more formal and ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Greetings after saying Hello in noon, afternoon and evening in formal visits

In morning we usually say Good Morning. But what about noon, afternoon and evening. In informal visits we can use 'how u doing', 'what's up', 'how are you'. But what about formal situations? What ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

More formal alternative for “called” [closed]

Is the word "called" used appropriately? The following sentences come from motivation letters and thesis. I had an opportunity to attend a seminar at an agency called XYZ Group. I studied ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Can I start a sentence with “To do so,..”

Ex: I will cook a rabbit. To do so, I will have to hunt one in the forest. Is this construction correct? Can it be used in a formal sentence? Thanks a lot!
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Neither A nor B

As a native speaker, the basic usage of "neither" and "nor" are perfectly clear to me. However, natives may suffer from colloquial usage sounding more normal than formal grammar. I definitely have ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Formal Writing “Persuade” vs. “Convince” [closed]

A colleague of mine is a second language speaker of English. He is seeking work in academia after he graduates with a cover letter. Would it be more appropriate to use "Persuade" or "Convince" a ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

Formal for “move the focus from A to B”?

What is a formal way of saying "move the focus from A to B" in the following context? The two curves swap their locations when we move our focus from measure A to measure B. My some lousy ...
1
vote
4answers
70 views

How can I write this in a more formal way? [closed]

Is there a formal way to say "from the horse's mouth"?
0
votes
2answers
183 views

“Could you Please provide me the details…”? [closed]

When we write a business email and want some information from the mail recipient, then which is the most professional way to ask for information. Does using "Please" in a sentence makes it look bad?
1
vote
3answers
64 views

Formal and polite way to tell someone “if you had told me”? [closed]

What's a formal and polite way to tell somebody "if you had told me in advance?" I'm writing an e-mail to someone who asked a month ago for a copy of a document delivered by postal mail. Turns out a ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Use of 'this' – relates to the directly preceding noun

I am a german native speaker. I am currently in the finishing stages of writing a thesis. One of my advisors (English is his mother tongue) provided feedback on the language of my writing. One point ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

“The name is” or “My name is”

What is the fundamental difference between saying "The name is X" or " My name is X" to introduce yourself? It seems that both versions are used in movies/tv shows, but as far as I recall, no one ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

How to address a person whose gender is not known [duplicate]

I want to write a formal letter. I know the name of address but do not the gender. How should I address him/her?
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What is a word for an entity which only provides a predefined set of tasks but doesn't want to engage new types of tasks?

Let's assume an entity was created to satisfy a predefined set of tasks, and cannot accommodate other new types of tasks. What is a formal word for this? For example, a service provider provider ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the word “stool” an informal word or a formal word?

Is the word "stool" an informal word or a formal word? I think it is a kind of formal word, especially a medical word. It is used in several academic papers and articles, and also doctors like using ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Will usage of “Dear” while addressing in mail, sound informal? [closed]

I see many people using "Dear" while addressing people in email. But, I feel "Dear" is more intimate word in English and should be used with only relations. How does the word "Dear" is used at all ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

What's the difference between “formal” and “literary” language?

Sometimes when I look up the meaning of a word in google, like just now for "gustatory", not only do I get what part of speech it is but also added information, such as that it's a "formal" adjective. ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

How to capitalise the first word of a sentence if it's been elided?

The example I have just come across: 'fraid we don't do it that way anymore. Or should it be: 'Fraid we don't do it that way anymore. Using either 'fraid is casual anyway because it should (more ...
4
votes
4answers
88 views

Is it correct to use elipses in a formal essay? [closed]

I'm writing an essay and I want to write: These things all prove that Hitler was not a man of his word … So should England have trusted him? and then continue with my next points. Is this ...
1
vote
3answers
111 views

“Pardon” vs “Please can you repeat that”? [closed]

In a client/business conference call , when you do not hear, what the speaker was saying or the message was unclear due to noise disturbance, what is the professional way to say it:- Pardon Could ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Any difference between pleasure to us to… vs. pleasure of ours to…?

I am writing a super-formal letter (it is a semi-legal text) and I am unsure if there is any sensible difference between writing "It is a great pleasure to us to..." (26,200,000 hits on Google) ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

polite questions vs. direct questions: real life reactions [closed]

In English courses (especially business), we learn to use polite questions. So we know that you shouldn't say "excuse me... where's the nearest supermarket, please?" but rather "excuse me... do you ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Another verb for “speaks to”

I often hear the phrase 'speak to' used as a verb. For example, "This event speaks to the need for good communication" or "Samantha, can you please speak to these dot points?" It seems appropriate ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

“Am I (ever) [adj.] ” vs. “How [adj.] I am”

What's the difference between saying, Boy, am I happy to see you again! Damn, am I ever lucky to have a friend like you! -and- Boy, how happy I am to see you again! Damn, how lucky ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

What's a more professional or formal way to say that someone is “cowering/hiding behind their keyboard”?

I am trying to explain how a lot of people online have a lack of accountability on the internet by hiding behind their keyboards.
-1
votes
1answer
121 views

“Kindly” vs “Please” : Which is better in official emails? [closed]

Consider the below sentences:- 1. Kindly review the document and let me know if I need to change something. 2. Please review the document and let me know if I need to change something. 3. Could you ...
-1
votes
2answers
355 views

Is “hail from (somewhere)” necessarily formal English?

Macmillan dictionary says hail from is "formal". link Cambridge dictionary notes hail from as "formal" in British English but doesn't say this for American English. link Oxford Learners ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

Is using the word “Likewise” in a sentence not professional or informal? [closed]

Last evening in my communication class, we had some discussion. In that discussion I used the word likewise in a sentence. But they said using likewise in a sentence anywhere is not professional or it ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

“call someone/something” vs. “call someone/something up” for "make a phone call to someone/something

What's the difference between call and call up to mean make a telephone call to? Is the latter any more informal than the former, or is it mainly a regional thing? call someone or something up ...
0
votes
4answers
11k views

How is the sentence “My mama don't like you, but she likes everyone” correct?

I just heard Love yourself by Justin Bieber. I thought I heard "My mama didn't like you but she likes everyone" from the song. Then later I found lyrics on some websites(listed bellow) but it's not ...
4
votes
2answers
176 views

“throw out/away” vs. “toss (out)” vs. “pitch (out/away)” for “dispose of; discard; get rid of as worthless or useless” in AmEng

What's the difference between "throw out/away," "toss out," and "pitch (out/away)" to mean, "get rid of as worthless or unnecessary"? Can these be used just about interchangeably? THROW AWAY Also,...
6
votes
2answers
179 views

Usage of “homework,” “schoolwork,” and “assignment” in AmEng for schoolwork given to students to do at home

As far as AmEng goes, is there any difference in using either homework, schoolwork, or assignment to call schoolwork given to students to be done at home? Can these be used just about interchangeably? ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

“Puff words”: What is a good definition or explanation for this term by David Foster Wallace?

The late David Foster Wallace at least once used the term “puff words” to describe, I assume, the type of words in the list below that are not in parentheses. What exactly did Wallace mean by “puff ...
0
votes
1answer
181 views

Formal way to say “if it doesn't work out for you, then never mind” [closed]

I am writing an email asking for a change of meeting time. The recipient is a very important client who I've never met. And here is what I wrote: Please ignore the request if it causes ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

temporal “directly” in AmEng usage: “immediately/without delay” or “shortly/in a little while”?

What does directly commonly mean in standard AmEng when used as a temporal adverb, immediately/instantly/at once/right away/without delay -or- soon/shortly/in a little while? DIRECTLY At ...
5
votes
3answers
302 views

“conclude” vs. “decide” in AmEng

Can, in some instances, conclude and decide be used just about interchangeably as far as AmEng goes? Please, consider the following examples: The committee concluded on a plan of action. The ...
4
votes
4answers
568 views

“[will] likely” vs. “[will] probably” in AmEng usage

As far as AmEng goes, can likely be an acceptable alternate to probably in the following OUP quiz? The traffic is terrible so I'll probably be late this morning. Climate change is likely to ...