2
votes
5answers
86 views

What's a more formal equivalent to “seriously out of line”?

What is a more formal equivalent to "seriously out of line"? In the particular case I'm looking for, I've been advised that what I'm referring to is seriously out of line legally, but the question is ...
0
votes
3answers
87 views

A better way to phrase this? [closed]

I had an email forwarded to me and one of the sentences in it sounded kind of wrong...: "It would be helpful if you can send me the agenda as 10am-3pm is quite a huge block of time for the students." ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

When Americans say someone has ''no accent'', what do they mean exactly? [duplicate]

As in my title question. Do they mean a specific region of the US, something else?
0
votes
1answer
82 views

How to say “I vaunt a broad knowledge of the subject” without bragging?

How can I say "I vaunt a broad knowledge and understanding of the subject" without sounding too arrogant? The verb to vaunt implies bragging, in my humble opinion.
4
votes
5answers
253 views

Why aren't there any common words for 'defecating' and 'urinating'?

Besides 'poo(p)ing' and 'peeing/weeing' used by and to children, besides 'shitting/crapping' and 'pissing' which are spoken, not polite, says the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, besides ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

Which word(s) can be used to express causal relation in modern English?

I will skip it over, because nobody will have doubt on this. Since nobody will have doubt on this, I will skip it over. I will skip it over, for nobody will have doubt on this. An ...
1
vote
2answers
506 views

Formal way of saying “when you are in need”

How can I write following in a formal way? It will help you when you are in need. It will help you when it is required. It will help you when needed. It will help you when you required to be helped. ...
2
votes
1answer
239 views

“However” vs. “but” — which is more formal?

I realize there are questions on the correct usage of "but" and "however". In this case, I am concerned with correctness in a formal context. I have heard it said that however should be used in ...
1
vote
2answers
286 views

Relative clauses with prepositional verb phrase

The people ø you work with are your 'colleagues'. The people that you work with are your 'colleagues'. The people who you work with are your 'colleagues'. The people whom you work with are ...
2
votes
3answers
229 views

How to say in a formal way that a car outside of the building is ready?

At work today I wanted to tell our guests that a car was waiting for them. Is there a formal way to say that? Are "The car is waiting for you" and "The car is ready" correct?
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Use “you” or “one” in formal writing?

Sometimes people tell me that I should avoid using "you" in formal writing and insist on telling me to use "one" ("One should not use 'you'" as opposed to "You should not use 'you'"). Are there any ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

“…that I have not got”, vs. “gotten”? [duplicate]

In such a context as... I have never applied to job that I cannot do, nor to one that I have not gotten. vs. I have never applied to job that I cannot do, nor to one that I have not got. ...
1
vote
3answers
144 views

Preposition to choose when referring to something from a book

Which would be better to say? He reminds me of Dill from To Kill a Mockingbird. He reminds me of Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird. He reminds me of Dill of To Kill a Mockingbird. Also, ...
4
votes
3answers
178 views

Is “maker” less professional than “manufacturer”?

To me as a non-native, maker sounds much less professional than manufacturer or supplier. I.e. an average "piston maker" would probably be much smaller than an average "piston manufacturer" or "piston ...
2
votes
1answer
354 views

“To go so far as to” — suitable for academic writing?

Is using the phrase "to go so far as to" in an academic context (e.g. in an article in humanities journal) acceptable? New Example: I do not know why Mister X went so far as to assert that Mister ...
-1
votes
1answer
684 views

In formal writing, is there any difference between “couple” and “some”?

For example in a résumé, are Experience in a couple of rendering tools and Experience in some rendering tools the same from the point of view of formality?
0
votes
1answer
865 views

“At step” or “in step”

When I searched I found many usages of both "in step" and "at step". For example, Google returns: "at each step" — about 55,000,000 results "in each step" — about 45,000,000 results But which one ...
2
votes
2answers
188 views

Is the word “dorm” acceptable in a thesis?

I'm writing a thesis about students living in dormitories and I would like to know if a dorm is an acceptable expression for a dormitory? I don't live in GB nor in USA and the thesis is neither ...
0
votes
3answers
284 views

Is “setup” an acceptable noun in formal writing?

I'm editing a draft of a scientific paper which repeatedly uses the word "setup" to refer to the, well, experimental setup. Example: The dimensions of the setup are 250 mm × 250 mm × 50 mm. ...
1
vote
2answers
206 views

What is the difference between “nudge” and “push” [closed]

I am trying to nudge them towards a practical solution. What does nudge imply here? Can't we just use something like push? Is the word outdated or still in use? I'm not trying to avoid using ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

How to write that I used a graphic from another source and modified it? [closed]

I'm writing a thesis in English (I'm from Germany) in which I'll use a graphic from a book that I modified just a little bit. How do write it correctly? see [source], slightly modified. ...
1
vote
1answer
495 views

Is “Fellow” informal? If yes, what's a formal equivalent?

In this article I read that: Fellow – Avoid using "fellow" when you mean "a person." Calling someone a fellow is more formal than calling him or her a dude, but "fellow" is still a colloquialism. ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Prepositions: “upon” vs. “after”

Despite having heard enough times already that upon is an archaic version of the on preposition, I'm still struggling to thoroughly understand its meaning and usage. In the quoted sentence, ...
7
votes
5answers
504 views

Is “huge” slightly informal?

Is "huge" slightly informal? In the following sentence, First, some people insist that Japan doesn’t need to adopt [an] austerity policy because it has a huge amount of assets at home and ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Formal alternative for “suck” [closed]

What is a more decent/formal alternative for the word suck? I want to use it in the context of being bad at something. To be precise, I want to translate "To suck less at a job every day" to formal ...
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

discreetness, secrecy

Is paraphrasing: I expect you to keep this subject secret from people it does not concern. as I'm expecting discreetness concerning this subject. a correct use of that word? How else would ...
9
votes
3answers
688 views

Is “get” (in the sense of “become/make”) appropriate for formal writing?

Is the use of "get + adjective/participle" appropriate for formal writing (for example, scientific papers)? I am thinking of usages analogous to get fat get inflated get sick where the meaning ...
3
votes
3answers
9k views

1st or 3rd person in CV/résumé? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it normal in English to talk about oneself in the third person in these cases? I’m currently preparing my CV in English. I’m not a native English speaker, and I ...
1
vote
2answers
264 views

“Institution”, “body” or “organ”

I'm a non-native speaker active in a labor union that does not use English internally. The union has a representative assembly (made up of representatives of branches), whose existence is mandated by ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Is “embiggen” considered a formal or slang word?

If my memory serves me correctly, I first encountered the word embiggen a year or so ago. I thought it seemed odd, but in context, the meaning was quite obvious. Since that time I've seen this word ...
2
votes
2answers
736 views

Addressing Professors: Between Dr. and a hard place

Early in my (academic) life, I was told that it is appropriate to address a faculty as Professor only when he/she possesses the full Professorial rank and I would be better off addressing Assistant ...
0
votes
3answers
411 views

How common is “What happened?” when asking people to repeat what they said? How long has this been in common usage?

For several years, I have heard most young people and some adults use the phrase What happened? when they do not hear what is spoken. It appears to be used where previously several other phrases were ...
4
votes
5answers
482 views

What's a more formal name for a “third” party?

Two parties are trying to resolve some dispute that involves interest of both. Sometimes it's hard for them to reach an agreement on a fair basis. This is typically when another party who has no ...
4
votes
4answers
497 views

When proper usage impedes communication

This question may be moderated as unanswerable, but I am interested in opinions. Take this scenario: Most people I know will improperly correct "The ball belongs to John and me." to "The ball belongs ...
1
vote
5answers
8k views

More formal way to say “just in case”

I thought "provisionally" was what I was looking for, as in: "As a provisional measure, I'd like someone with Volkswagen Corporate to follow up with me next week." What I really mean is: "Just in ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Appropriate use of “app” vs “application”

Can app serve as an accepted abbreviation for application in formal contexts? Is there some context where app is more accepted (for example, when talking about mobile applications)?
3
votes
2answers
364 views

Is “grab” an informal way of saying “learn”?

I am writing to someone who is a sort of respectful person and I wanted to form a sentence such as below and I am wondering if using grab instead of learn or get is informal and looks odd. I'd ...
2
votes
3answers
271 views

What is the difference between “an essay on something” and “an essay in something”?

In most cases you write "an essay on something" but recently I came across some "essays in something" Is there a difference in meaning? Is the "in" more formal?
1
vote
2answers
811 views

Is “a lot of” used generally in English, or is it colloquial?

I find a lot of people in Holland think 'a lot of' is too colloquial for use in academic work. Is that the case?
2
votes
3answers
22k views

Is it appropriate to use 'eagerly' while ending a formal e-mail

Nowadays, I always use the below phrase when I am ending a formal e-mail; I eagerly await for your response. Regards, I've seen this phrase somewhere, kind-of a formal e-mail and I am using ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

“Certificate of residence” vs. “certificate of residency”

Certificate of residence vs. certificate of residency — which one to use, when and why? Please quote a reputable source.
3
votes
3answers
402 views

What are the guidelines for usage of “will” and “is/are going to”?

I use them interchangeably, however I'd like to know when one is better or more appropriate than the other.
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “whatsoever” a formal word in written English?

The authors make no mention whatsoever about... Is this sentence appropriate for formal writing?
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there an informal way to describe a woman that can not have a baby?

"Infertile"; "fruitless"? How would you describe such a woman in an informal talk to your friend?
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Is using “have” better than using “got” in the following sentence?

Take a gander at the following two versions of the same sentence: "I got an mp4 video file" vs. "I have an mp4 video file" Someone 'corrected' me by changing the first form to the second ...
20
votes
9answers
48k views

Using “dear”, “darling”, or “honey” to address a friend

As far as I know dear, darling, and honey are commonly used between lovers, but I suppose there are more words like that. What else is commonly used? Which of these can be used to address a ...
44
votes
7answers
2k views

Is “data” considered singular or plural?

Related to this question and this question. My non-native English speaking friend just asked me: Data is ... or Data are ... I said both but that's because I've been desensitized from ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

“Toward” or “towards” – what would a native speaker use?

In this question we learn that toward and towards are interchangeable, but that the former is somewhat more typical of U.S. English and the latter of British English, although there is some indication ...
6
votes
2answers
605 views

Use “whom” in emails?

Assume for a moment that an author does know how to use whom correctly. In an email (specifically), does using whom correctly make the author sound stuffy and formal, or would you say that in email, ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

How do you decide which phrase to use when asking people to repeat what they said?

There are many different ways to ask people to repeat what they have just said. For example: Huh? What? Sorry? Pardon? What's that? Say that again, please I beg your pardon? I've ordered them ...