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

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2
votes
3answers
123 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
105 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
281 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
72 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
52 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
31 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
115 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
112 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
72 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
77 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
76 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
127 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
votes
2answers
53 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
844 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
58 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
111 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
81 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
98 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
34 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
99 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
859 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
133 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
73 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
48 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
513 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
vote
5answers
83 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.
-1
votes
1answer
123 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
104 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
86 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
39 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
47 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
20 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
46 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
103 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
62 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
votes
0answers
54 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

“Make good use of it” synonyms

I am applying for a job and I will make real good use of the opportunity it will provide me. Could someone give me a good phrase for the following bold part of the sentence: I would really appreciate ...
6
votes
6answers
4k views

“I have strived” vs “I have striven”

In a college application essay, I am trying to write the sentence along the lines of: I have always strived to achieve my goals. Should I say strived or striven? According to this article at ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

Is there any difference in politeness or formality between the following sentences?

Is there any difference in politeness or formality between the following sentences? Please can I borrow your pen? Can I please borrow your pen? Can I borrow your pen, please?
1
vote
2answers
83 views

What is the word or idiom for a system which is not well maintained and has become useless?

In Finnish we say rämettyä, where räme is a kind of swamp or marsh, so it literally means become a swamp. I guess that is understandable English, but it sounds quite informal. Especially, I am looking ...
-1
votes
1answer
93 views

“I shall” vs. “I will” in an e-mail to a superior [duplicate]

In an e-mail to a superior, should I write "I shall create a page", or "I will create a page"?
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a case where “of the clock” is more appropriate then “o'clock”?

In formal papers, I've always been told to avoid contractions, but unlike "do not" versus "don't", I don't think that I have ever heard "of the clock" spoken aloud. Is there a case (aside from time ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Is there a formal way of referring to the Somebody Else's Problem field, as described in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

For those who have not read the book in question, a Somebody Else's Problem field is typically a problem that is so unbelievable that its easier to just ignore it rather than to address it. For ...
-1
votes
1answer
205 views

Grammaticality and formality of “When can I call you?” [closed]

When can I call you. ...does it make sense? Shall I use this for formal talk? Please help me as I have used the same sentence when I called HR. Need your input on this
-10
votes
2answers
291 views

Four-letter word riddle [closed]

A word has four letters, yet if you remove the first letter, the pronunciation doesn't change. What is the word?