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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

3
votes
3answers
320 views

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

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
551 views

How accepted is ‘f***ing’ in informal conversation?

I live in Brazil and speak English as a foreign language. For the past twenty years I've heard people use the adjective fucking more often than ever before in the US: in real life, in movies and on ...
1
vote
2answers
1k 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. ...
-1
votes
1answer
673 views

What complimentary close to use in continuous formal email?

I am a student in contact with a business owner, and I am having a hard time deciding on a complimentary close. Should I use it for every email I send him? I don't want to make it redundant since it ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Signing off with “Best” instead of “Best regards” [duplicate]

I'm active on many different online forums and platforms and do much communication with my own customers and customers of a company I am employed at. The signature I used to sign off a post or email ...
1
vote
1answer
198 views

Is 'acronymise/ze' a word? Is it used only colloquially, if at all?

I just sent a text to a friend, who didn't understand an acronym I used for a game: "Ah, I said it in a previous text so thought it was ok to abbreviate it." Though, since it was an acronym I ...
1
vote
1answer
812 views

What's the formal and informal reply to question “Let's meet XXXX” [closed]

My professor wrote an email to me and said "Let's meet Thursday". I do not know how to reply this email formally and politely. In addition, if a friend said "Let's meet XXX" in an informal occasion, ...
2
votes
1answer
649 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Gender-neutral possessive [duplicate]

I often use their as a gender-neutral term. Example: When a writer promotes their work ... But I am not sure whether this is acceptable English, or whether this is rather colloquial. I.e. can a ...
0
votes
3answers
261 views

Can altering the syntax of a sentence, without in any way changing the diction used in describing the subject itself, change the subject's number?

There have been debates raging both here and on ELL about this, but the question has, to this point, been focused solely on expletive constructions with compound subjects. This is not intended to ask ...
1
vote
2answers
409 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
276 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
1answer
595 views

Mix active and passive voice in the thesis

I am starting to write my thesis and was told not to use passive voice. But the active voice pronouns "I" and "we" do not sound right somehow and I even found this link How to Write... encouraging ...
-1
votes
1answer
187 views

Express more formally [closed]

How can I say these sentences in a more formal way? Glad you're OK Great news , got the job Sorry, can't make it next Saturday it's still ok for Friday? Thanks loads! can't wait to see you
2
votes
3answers
503 views

Is there a non-colloquial equivalent term for “cool”?

As I get older (into my 30s) the less I feel like using youthful slang, and I take extra pride in using professional English. But I can't think of a word that is universally equivalent to the ...
0
votes
2answers
326 views

How can I say “Staff Only” with a formal warning sentence?

I need to write a door writing that states formally, "students are not welcomed in this kitchen, please use the café..." I've drafted some examples but I was wondering if there is a formal sentence ...
0
votes
1answer
345 views

“hot topic” as phrase in thesis

I'm currently writing the introduction of my Ph.D. thesis, which is about theoretical computer science. I stumbled upon the phrase To put it in a nutshell, X is a hot topic where X refers to ...
0
votes
1answer
856 views

Three formal ways to express “we got very good comments”

A question from a non-native speaker: For some reason I have to find at least three different formal ways to express "we got very good comments". The context is like "our paper got published and the ...
0
votes
3answers
914 views

I've finished my studies and currently looking for a job?

I'm writing my first CV (resume) before applying for some jobs. Is the following sentence grammatically correct? I've finished my studies and currently looking for a job
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Single word for “always new requirements”

Is there any word to express "always new needs emerge"? Can renewable be sufficient for this? The context is something like "cannot satisfy the endless renewable needs", in an academic article.
0
votes
1answer
125 views

The grammar restriction of dash and parentheses

This is a follow-up to my previous question. The answerer mentioned that when parentheses are used for inserting contents in a sentence, the grammar flexibility is assumed to be higher. If that is ...
1
vote
2answers
161 views

Mixed Conditionals

This question is about conditionals If I had money, I would give it you conditional 2 (present tense) If I had money, I would have given it to you conditional 3 (Past tense) But I've ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Usage of “odyssey” and “splendid”

I started my odyssey on the splendid world of mathematics when... Is this a right way to use the word "odyssey"? Is "odyssey on sth." correct? Can I use "splendid" to describe the world of ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Usage of “though” in formal writing

Consider the following text: "It is a bicycle. How do we know it is a bicycle, though?". Would this be a reasonable use of though in formal writing (in an essay)? What are the ways of avoiding this ...
1
vote
1answer
204 views

Which valediction should I use with my boss?

I work as a freelancer for a company and I do most of my communication via e-mails. My boss usually ends his mails with "cheers" whereas I always use "regards". Are there any alternatives to ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

Usage of “ladies and gentlemen” to address two people of diiferent sex

It seems to be not quite logical to use the traditional address "ladies and gentlemen" when there are only a single lady and a single gentleman in the room, not counting for the person who is ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Usage of “convivial”

Is "convivial" a formal and uncommon word? Can I say "a convivial community"?
2
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a more formal option for 'just in case'?

It was addressed before, but the question was too specific, thus doesn't resolve my issue. I'm expecting a general answer, though provide an example as well. For instance, I'm writing a letter and ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Usage of 'Hi' and 'Dear' in Formal Communication

I always hesitate using 'Hi' in formal mails. Is it OK to use it like "Hi Sir,..."? Same with 'Dear Junior,...'. Any help would be appreciated.
1
vote
2answers
167 views

Data as a plural noun [duplicate]

In an academic writing, is it correct to make reference to "the data itself", being that data is a plural noun and itself is a singular pronoun?
1
vote
3answers
133 views

How to semi-formally address a senior academic? [closed]

What is a proper way to address a person with the title of a Professor in a way which is less formal than "Dear Professor", but still conveys some respect? For example, suppose I am talking to ...
3
votes
4answers
765 views

Is “am” ever proper English without an “I” somewhere before or after it? [duplicate]

For a long time, I have been convinced that the use of the word am without the word I either before or after it is incorrect. For instance, saying Am going all by itself. However, I recently ran a ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the correct use of commas when using the word “attached” [closed]

What is the correct comma use in the following sentence? Per our earlier conversation, attached, please find the document.
1
vote
2answers
2k 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
3k 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
13k views

How do you abbreviate “Government”?

As far as I can tell there are eight ways to abbreviate or write the contracted form "government". gov or Gov gov. or Gov. gov't or Gov't govt. or Govt. (with the full stop/period) Are any of ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

“Make sure to” vs. “Be sure to”: Is the first one correct?

These two versions below are used interchangeably where I live now in the United States: Make sure to do something. Be sure to do something. But I always have found the first version clumsy. I ...
8
votes
8answers
11k views

“have” vs.“have got” in American and British English

I have looked through several questions and answers on EL&U, and often there is an indication that American English prefers "have" while British English prefers "have got". In addition, there are ...
0
votes
1answer
210 views

When writing a formal report is it bad to make up names when giving an example?

I was giving an example and was trying to immerse the reader in the experience as much as possible and made up a man's name. Consider the following example: Joseph is testing a program built for ...
1
vote
3answers
162 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, ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Is the expression, “having a good time” too personal?

Me and a colleague were jointly writing an email to an English speaking business partner when a discussion arose on how to formulate a sentence. The business partner is currently on vacation, so I ...
1
vote
0answers
3k views

Using first names with the titles Mr. and Mrs [closed]

It is proper to use the first names with Mr. & Mrs.? For example, in the invitation of an anniversary party, can one say the following: Celebrate the anniversaryof Mr. and Mrs. James and ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Can closings be made up or must one of the common ones be used?

There are common closings such as "respectfully", "Best Regards", "Yours truly" etc. but if you have reason to make your own is that allowed or is it more of a formality that is set in stone to used a ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

How to correctly refer to animal parts as food?

I have found little consistent in how animal parts used as food are named. How can I correctly refer to the tongue of ducks, the necks of ducks, or the ears of pigs? Do you like duck's neck? ...
4
votes
3answers
207 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
345 views

Em dash or colon in formal writing

In formal writing, should I use an em dash The Earth consists of three layers — crust, mantle, and core. or a colon The Earth consists of three layers: crust, mantle, and core. ?
1
vote
3answers
870 views

Salutation for job application [duplicate]

I don't the know the exact receiver for the job.I don't even know the company's name because i found the job position online.I only know the email.How should i start the letter? I read that for that ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Should I refer to “one” as “him/her/them”, when the subject is not specified? [duplicate]

I'm writing a formal document, translating it to English, and I need to now how to say this sentence properly: " It allows one to have a voice and endows them with a power that was (...)" I used ...
-1
votes
1answer
409 views

A formal phrasal verb for “continue to stick to their belief”

How do I rewrite the following sentence so it is more formal, using a phrasal verb in place of the part in bold? Despite mounting evidence, they continue to stick to their belief.
3
votes
3answers
4k views

How to reply to a status update for a job application?

I received an email today telling me that I will be notified about next steps for my job application by mid next week. I want to be polite and respond something brief, but since I'm not a native ...