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

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1answer
134 views

How etiquettical is it to start off a professional email with 'Hey'?

I've been wondering, why whould folks avoid the usage of Hey to greet someone/team as the mail starts, did that really read grotesque? What could be the alternatives other than the conventionals?
1
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1answer
63 views

“separate” and “terminate” for “dismiss/discharge” from employment in AmEng

According to Oxford Dictionary Online, separate US Discharge or dismiss (someone) from service or employment. terminate chiefly North American End the employment of (someone); dismiss: ...
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2answers
47 views

What is “gonna transfer in” means?

In my try to mix up English learning with web surfing I have been sticking on Reddit sometimes. Mostly my problems are in informal language which used in memes or comic strips. So, there is the ...
0
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2answers
61 views

Is “set me up” too informal? [closed]

I am ESL and am not really comfortable creating formal emails. Right now I am trying to formulate a thank you email to the operations manager for taking time to set me up with everything needed for a ...
0
votes
3answers
69 views

How to understand the pronunciation of informal English? [closed]

I moved to English speaking country a while ago. I always thought that my English is pretty well in both speaking and listening (understanding) parts. I understand 100% what is being said for ...
1
vote
1answer
166 views

“Find in page” vs “find on page”

I'd like to find some thoughts and opinions related to this question. First of all, I noticed that there are two forms used in Web browsers' menus: MS Internet Explorer uses "Find on page" meanwhile ...
0
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0answers
23 views

Hiding the aux. verb and subject at the beginning of a question [duplicate]

I was watching 10 Things I Hate About You today, and at some point the protagonist's father starts up the following dialogue: Hello Katerine. Make anyone cry today? Sadly, no. But it's only 4:30. ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Can I use meet for an online meeting?

I would like to know if I can say "We can meet on Monday or Tuesday" in email as a reply to a sales person's email asking for a couple of days options for an online meeting -- a sort of Skype call. I ...
0
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0answers
67 views

Opposite of 'buckle up'

If I wanted a kid in my car to fasten his/her seatbelt, I'd say 'Buckle up!'. It is an informal expression, and I'm wondering if there is a phrasal verb with the opposite meaning (to unfasten/...
2
votes
3answers
146 views

“road” vs. “pavement” vs. “roadway” for French “chaussée” [road surface] in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference between those terms? Can they be used just about interchangeably? road: a long, narrow stretch with a leveled or paved surface, made for traveling by motor vehicle, carriage, ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Common ways to tell the time

I'm a non-native speaker. In school, I was taught that the proper way of telling times in English is X o' clock. In NAE, would it be common to omit o' clock and just say something like: It's ...
6
votes
2answers
116 views

Assessing Formality via the Root of the Word

Firstly, I'd point out that as this is a slightly open-ended question I'm not certain how well it fits in with the guideline. I'm hoping that the fact there's a way to define an answer means that it ...
5
votes
2answers
293 views

“The government 'is' always changing 'their' mind” in AmEng

Why would using the construct "is/their" instead of "is/its" in the following examples likely be frowned upon by some native speakers and marked as incorrect on tests? The class is working on its ...
-1
votes
2answers
74 views

“Should” as formal IF

Can a phrase starting with "if" always be replaced with a phrase with a phrase starting with SHOULD? It doesn't seem like we can make a direct substitution. For example, we say If he askED you ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

“Heck” in formal writing

So I'm trying to make a proper transition to the next sentence and was wondering if I could use "heck" in such formal context. The AI will recognize people entering the apartment and greet them ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

School or education in my resume?

I'm filling an employment application, so I want to know what is the most formal way to refer to my education block. Personal information. -Name: -Age: -Address: -Phone: Introduction & Goals. &...
0
votes
2answers
142 views

Offer me (something) or offer (something) for me?

I have an issue with the usage of the word offer. This particular sentence below is giving me a headache. I am positive that these two subjects can offer me the best opportunities, as I take ...
-1
votes
2answers
128 views

Is it formal to say “I've met people I was able to connect with”? [closed]

I would like to say the following: "During my daily work I’ve met many interesting people I was able to connect with." Is this right in a formal way? What I would like to say is that I did ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

How to request to be addressed by one's title and surname [closed]

I am wondering if anyone might have a suggestion about how to request to be addressed by a personal title and one's surname. For example, I prefer to be addressed as, "Mr. Redgate," but I do not wish ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

How to finish a letter in a conciliatory manner [closed]

I have drafted a letter to someone who works in the same team as me, discussing some issues regarding teamworking and I want to finish the letter by saying that I hope they receive the letter in a ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Is “then” considered as informal in a technical report? [closed]

It is correct to use "then" in a formal sentence? Here is an example sentence: "In case that a cylinder is not at end position then the operator has to move manually the cylinder in order to meet ...
2
votes
3answers
82 views

“Lest” or “Or?”

Colloquially, I would always use or where I would formally use lest. For example, "go to sleep, or you'll be tired" versus "go to sleep, lest you be tired." Has this usage of or been around for ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

“woodsy” vs. “woody” for “covered with trees/wooded” in NAmEng

What's the difference between those terms? Context would be a quaint little village nestled into a hillside covered with trees, sort of like this one. WOODY: 4. Abounding in trees; wooded. (...
0
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2answers
56 views

Better phrases to describe “taking A-levels” or any other course

What phrase should I use when writing about my qualifications? I feel like saying e.g. "I am taking A-levels" sounds informal (A-levels is the examination students in England take). What other verb or ...
3
votes
6answers
935 views

Formal way of saying “I'm on it” [closed]

Want to answer to my supervisor's question about the status of a task. What come's to my mind is "I'm on it". What's a more formal way of saying that?
3
votes
0answers
63 views

Is “I like [adjective]” acceptable in formal contexts? [closed]

Lately I've seen a lot this "I like [adjective]" structure. I really like this kind of "untranslatable" structures because those are the ones that make me feel I'm really speaking English (and not ...
1
vote
3answers
213 views

Is “I would like to know” informal? [closed]

I'm sending an e-mail to schedule my internship. Is this sentence, "I would like to know if I can cover up Thursday's by working extra hours on other days." sounds informal? Is there a better way to ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Is it wise to specify a country name in brackets when referring to foreign city in an official document

While writing a formal document in an English language, I would like to know whether it's wise to specify a country name in brackets when referring to foreign city in an official document. For example,...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

“I'm all about that bass”

My question is all about the perceived formality of using about in the sentences like I'm all about that bass. How (in)formal is using about like this? OED has this definition for this usage: to ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Noun and Adjective position

In a formal engineering document about an HTML file, a colleague of mine wrote the next thing (starting a sentence): Tag <color> shall be repeated at least 5 times [...] (For the sake of ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Differences between formal and colloquial English? [closed]

What are the basic differences between formal and colloquial English? Is it right that colloquial English uses more contracted forms, slang expressions, phrasal verbs, subjunctive, and euphemisms? ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

I haven't seen her “for”/“in” two days

What's the difference between using either for or in in the following examples? Bill hasn't taken a vacation for/in two years. Jack hasn't been to school for/in four days. I hadn't seen ...
0
votes
1answer
153 views

Word for not knowing if something is good or bad?

So I'm trying to find a word for if you are unsure whether something could be good or could be bad. The context I'm using it in is that a character noticed something about themselves that they are ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Formal - Its a pity [closed]

For an event, I've invited some speakers (University professors); one of them can't make it to the event and I want to say: Its a pity that you can't show up. How can I say this more formally? ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Formal words for “make a stride”?

I came across "make a stride" while I read some articles about global climate change. However, I am not sure if that is formal enough to use in writing an academic essay. If not, what are the formal ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Is the word “like” wrong?

Here is my example (from an SAT question): Like his other cookbooks, in his new book Chef Louis offers lengthy explanations of what he considers to be basic cooking principles. The error was ...
2
votes
2answers
604 views

Is the expression “in seek of” acceptable?

Is this sentence correct, or are there better ways to express it: In seek of an ideal start for my career, I am applying for the PhD program at your school. Am I using the wrong verb here, ...
1
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5answers
91 views

Formal word for “wow factor”

I am wondering if there is any formal word or phrase for "wow factor" that shows same level of excitement positively.
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votes
1answer
131 views

Can we use both “gonna” and “wanna” together? [closed]

For instance, can we say "I'm gonna wanna do it". or is it better to say "I am going to want to do it". It shouldn't be grammatically incorrect, but can we consider this is not common even in informal ...
0
votes
2answers
123 views

Is it ok to start a sentence with “seems”?

In a formal paper, would it be alright to include a sentence such as "Seems as if the extremist Muslims are being highlighted by the media to perpetuate stereotypes" or "Seems that the media is ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Is “from all over” ok in a formal text?

Context: academic, resume-like document detailing a person's achievements. "The institute has attracted people from all over the University" Does the above sound okay, or is the "from all over" an ...
1
vote
2answers
40 views

Is “play it safe” informal register?

On a rather formal ecommerce website I am talking about safety features a product has which competitors are lacking. The customer is considered business-like, and not as a buddy. Play it safe. [...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Is “The first thing” too casual for an academic paper?

Suppose I'm writing an academic paper. Is, "The first thing" in "The first thing that I want to challenge is the idea that..." too informal? If so, is there a more formal phrase I can put there ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Using 'You' or 'I' in Forms

Which one of the following is better/more common/more widely accepted, when writing a form to be filled out as part of a survey? Option 1: Q1. My preferred investment option: ________ (list of ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

In a thesis work, what form I should use to indicate a website names?

in the specific, I have one o more website that acts as subject in a sentence, I'm wondering if it is correct and if I should use the quotation marks e.g.: www.amazon.com is the only present in ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Do more contractions always mean more informality?

As my limited experience in English indicates, more contractions are used in spoken English than in written. Moreover, too many contractions favor casualness. Compare: I would not have come. I ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

More formal alternative of “good” for describing some work [closed]

What is a more formal alternative of saying "good" for describing a work? e.g. "The work looks good." I don't want an adjective with more intensity than "good" such as "remarkable", "outstadning", ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Is the infinitive at the end of “I did whatever I wanted to do” necessary?

In a statement such as "I did whatever I wanted to do," or "I wore whatever clothes I wanted to wear," are the infinitives "to do" and "to wear" necessary? Is it improper to say "I did whatever I ...
0
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0answers
56 views

CV writing help - grammar question

I'm preparing my CV for an internship (here is a link for my cv - Click). I'm concerned about these sentences: 1-Taking the course by Gedik University 2-Joined the Erasmus Student Exchange ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I use the F-word in a formal context? [closed]

I want to ask whether I can use the word "Fuck" in a formal context. Apparently, the word dates back to the early 16th century, so it shouldn't be considered slang (although, it is misused as slang ...