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

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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 ...
4
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
836 views

Less formal synonym for “Confirmed”, “Acknowledged”

I'm looking for a less formal synonym for "Confirmed" or "Ackowledged", that retains some brevity. As an example, say I've received an e-mail from my manager asking me to switch to a different task. ...
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 ...
-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 ...
2
votes
3answers
12k views

Starting a sentence with 'About your question, …'

I have noticed myself often starting a sentence like this: About your drawing question, I don't think there is an easy way to draw these shapes. Is it formal to start a sentence that way (formal ...
13
votes
6answers
7k 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?
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
16k views

What is a word similar to FYI but not objective/neutral [closed]

FYI can be used in an email to inform the person reading the email about some information. It is comfortable using this between peers. But what if the mail is intended to inform someone higher in the ...
0
votes
0answers
55 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
112 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
28k views

An alternative phrase or sentence for “With reference to the subject above”?

I have been using the following sentence for all my official communication, but I have become bored by its monotony. With reference to the subject above I am looking for a total change over of ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
6answers
2k views

How to say “I don't believe you” in a more academic way? [closed]

How to say "I don't believe you" in a more academic way? I need to say it to my teacher and I do not know how to say it, not to make her mad...
1
vote
5answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
12k views

“Thus” vs. “so” in formal English

Currently there are about 4000 international students from 110 different nations across the world, thus/so the university offers perfect conditions for socializing and making new friends. Is this ...
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
52 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
74 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
0
votes
2answers
180 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?
8
votes
8answers
6k views

Can the word “that” be used to refer to people?

I came across this SAT Question of the Day: Unbelievable as it may seem, many individuals that fought in the American Revolution were still alive in 1839, the year the world was introduced to ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Are “betwixt”, “trebble”, etc., acceptable in American English?

I grew up speaking British English. The words I learnt were occasionally marked off in papers, despite their being English words. Are words like betwixt, trebble, learnt acceptable in papers for ...
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
1answer
47 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do some questions not start with an auxiliary verb?

When I learned English, my teachers told me that all questions must have an auxiliary verb at the beginning, just like Are you mad? or Is she playing? do. But when watching some movies or talking ...
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 ...
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 ...
18
votes
5answers
24k views

the USA vs the US

I am writing an essay where I need to make a reference to the United States of America. Often I hear this shortened to the US, but sometimes people also say the USA. Are there any difference between ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

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

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 TV. Sentences like "You fucking idiot." I've also heard ...
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
10k views

What does “ain't” mean? [closed]

What does the contraction ain't mean? Is it appropriate to use it in formal settings?
2
votes
2answers
50 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
3answers
6k views

“Engagement”, “betrothal” — connotations?

I'm not a native speaker, so frequently I don't know underlying semantic subtleties of synonyms; what connotations they bear, which may be antiquated or very official, which are specific to given ...
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
votes
2answers
385 views

How to say thank you to a friend who agreed to take care of my pet? [closed]

I have been preparing to IELTS test and currently I need to write a thank you letter to my friend, because she agreed to take care of my pet. So I've come up with this: Thank you so much for ...