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

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5
votes
3answers
6k views

“Deliberately” vs. “intentionally” vs. “on purpose”

I wonder if there is any difference between usage of these three: deliberately intentionally on purpose Are they completely interchangeable? Are they at the same level of formality? I found some ...
0
votes
2answers
20 views

“Person with a trauma” or “person with trauma”

In academic writing, I frequently run across texts where the determiner is dropped when a person is described as having a medical condition or having suffered an injury. Moreover, a singular noun is ...
8
votes
8answers
13k views

Usage of double dots (..) Is it formal?

I am sure that this wouldn't have much meaning, but still want to get acknowledged whether usage of double dots is formal. I have observed people using double dots in business Emails. Usually while ...
5
votes
6answers
9k views

“Important” and “significant”

"Important" and "significant" seems to be very close in meaning when denoting that something matters much. But am I right in thinking that "important" is less formal word than "significant"? And ...
0
votes
2answers
28 views

“Right up one's alley?” Formal/in-formal?

Is "Right up my alley" formal enough to use in a cover letter/job application etc? If not, are there any alternative idioms? It sounded right to me and I was just about to use it in a formal ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

proper way to write the slang term for “gravitational force”

I came across something very similar to this in a thriller novel: At this stage, the rocket is experiencing its maximum acceleration, say about ten gees. Here, the author has spelled out the ...
-4
votes
1answer
42 views

what is the right way to greet someone while meeting first time in a day? [closed]

i just wanted to curious to know this that when ever people meet someone they used to say good morning or good evening depend upon the situation and the time . what is the right way to greet someone ...
3
votes
5answers
12k views

How to reply to a status update for a job application? [on hold]

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 ...
-2
votes
0answers
27 views

Reported speech: “President Sang expressed hope that”

I am having a hard time finding another way to phrase this sentence, while keeping it as close to the original as possible. It seems to me rather clumsy and unnatural to use expressed hope that the ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

“Looks like” in more formal way [closed]

I want to write It looks like I misunderstood Berta's explanation But in more formal way. Thanks
66
votes
20answers
456k views

Which expressions can be used to close an email? [closed]

At the end of written communication like emails and letters, it is customary to use a closing valediction or "complementary close". Which formal and informal expressions can be used to end emails?
0
votes
1answer
79 views

What does this vulgar expression mean?

I found several mentions, only online, and have no idea what this means. But obviously people repeat this phrase, so they mean something particular. Here is one example: It is still morning here ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

Is it correct to say 'we'll have us a beer' instead of 'we'll have a beer together'? [migrated]

I heard sometimes to say 'we're going to have us a beer'. Is this correct? Should it be avoided in standard English? Is it only colloquial?
2
votes
1answer
14k views

Any difference between “Sorry I'm late!” and “Sorry for being late!”?

Is one of these sentences used more than the other? (I'm) sorry I'm late. (I'm) sorry for being late. Or is one more formal than the other?
3
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
24k views

Filling out forms that ask for “relationship with”

When I fill any form for my son this question “relationship with child” confuses me. Should the answer be “son” or “father”? To me, the ideal answer is always “a father–son relationship”. A little ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

What is the origin of “sewn up”?

As in a guaranteed thing. For example, "Bill has twice the sales of anyone else on the floor so the sales competition is pretty well sewn up." I've tried to think of various metaphors it could be ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

“the below-identified person”: Term for this style and any style guides regarding

Are there any technical terms to specifically describe the two styles (A and B) below? Also, are there any prescriptive style guides that say which is preferable? My own preference is for style B ...
1
vote
0answers
15 views

It has been known since long time that / Since long, it has been known that [migrated]

I need to start a sentence by saying that something has been known for a long time. What is the most elegant way of writing that? Two possibilities that come to my mind are: 1) It has been known ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Saying “thank you” when something is taken from you, or when you take something from someone? [closed]

Often, when I am visiting some sort of community event where there is a large group of people, each person of the group may be given something to look at, or to reference to throughout the event. For ...
2
votes
3answers
44k views

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

Nowadays, I always use the following phrase when I am ending formal email; I eagerly await for your response. Regards, I've seen this phrase somewhere, kind-of a formal e-mail and I am ...
5
votes
5answers
10k views

Which is correct: “I’m done” or “I have finished”?

Which of these alternatives is grammatically correct? I’m done. or I have finished Like I’m done sounds very American, but is it grammatically correct?
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Greetings after initial email

In a formal / professional email (i.e. emails directed at potential employers, co-workers and administrators), is it okay to exclude the greeting after the first email? For example, I will send an ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the lowercase pronoun “i” a feature of Indian English?

The Rule The personal pronoun “I” is always capitalized in English, regardless of its position in a sentence. This is an orthographic convention that every native speaker should know. Whenever I ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Is the word “dear” used as a word to show affection or for official use in India?

Quite a few times now, from my working with Indians, I've had most of them refer to me as "Dear". A common occurrence is when I am chatting on social media or speaking on the phone. Though where I ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Are there linguistic markers that indicate to subordinates a desire to be addressed less formally

It's a bit of a shame that Is "pal" too informal when the other person is much older than me? was closed, as it dabbles in a difficult topic for all non-native speakers of English. Although ...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there a term for ascribing acts of the human mind to non-human objects, and when is it appropriate to do this?

Nota bene: English isn't my native language, so when I say acts of the human mind, I attempt to generalize things such as making assumptions, drawing conclusions and (to some extent) to reject. To me ...
0
votes
4answers
96 views

Can I write “Kindly let me know openly”, finishing a letter?

What I want to do is to ask politely for feedback - including feedback that might be left out because it has negative aspects. So I want to ask the addressee not to ignore or suppress problems because ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

Question on use that or not [duplicate]

It's a formal email to a client, My question is should I use with or without that to make it formal. This is to confirm that we are ready to purchase the items as discussed. This is to confirm, we ...
3
votes
3answers
536 views

Difference between “bunch of” and “group of” with regard to people

What are the contexts for using a bunch and a group when describing a handful of people? Please take both spoken and written English into account. For example, when is it more appropriate to use "a ...
10
votes
4answers
12k 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
67 views

When should I use “all in”?

I learned that "all in" is an informal way to say exhausted. Is it more common to say "I am exhausted" or to use "I am all in"?
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Replacement For “Drive Someone Nuts” [closed]

In the expression to drive someone nuts, I studied that it's possible to replace the word nuts with words like: bananas, crazy, insane, bonkers, ... I'd like to know is this expression polite? If it ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

How to use title in salutation, when recepient's name is unknown

I'm sending a formal letter to an adjudicator but do not know his or her name. What would be the most appropriate salutation? Dear Adjudicator: Dear adjudicator: Dear sir or madam: To whom it may ...
8
votes
9answers
840 views

What quality does a person lack who cannot understand another's point of view?

I am looking for a non-slang, non-colloquial word - a word that I can use when speaking to a professional therapist/counselor, to be exact. Another way to ask this question might be "What quality ...
0
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Should contractions be avoided in formal emails?

In a formal email of the kind where you begin with "Dear Mr. Surname" and finish with "Best regards", for example, should we use the following contractions? Or are the non contracted forms more ...
3
votes
10answers
181 views

More formal synonym of “bullshit artist”?

I need more formal ways to express three related terms: bullshit artist, BS-ing, and the art of BS-ing. Edit -- providing some context: The type of BS I need to talk about is the kind that ...
1
vote
4answers
71 views

More formal alternative for “get a handle on sth.”

In a text I am writing (paper in the sciences), I find I would like to use the phrase “In order to get a handle on this problem, …”, but it seems a little informal. The intended meaning is “gain a ...
-1
votes
2answers
30 views

Cite authors or inform the reader that these guys made it?

I writing a research paper in which I want to say that Paul Viola and Michael Jones (authors behind a framework) made this framework. What is the more formal way of saying this?
37
votes
14answers
6k views

What can be used as formal euphemism of “hack”?

I'm writing a technical document, and I need to convey the fact that we had to find a non-optimal, non-orthodox solution that was adopted as the best available alternative (a hack) to solve an ...
35
votes
13answers
166k views

More formal way of saying: “Sorry to bug you again about this, but …”

I was wondering if there was a more formal and polite way of saying: Sorry to bug you again about this, but we still have not received a response about X .... (if we still have not received any ...
2
votes
0answers
103 views

How to politely say to sellers in stores that you don't need help? [closed]

This happens quite often. You're at a store, and while looking for clothes sellers come over and ask if you need any help. And since my English is far away from normal English I just use what I know ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Formal way to say “I believe”

I am writing a chapter in a book and I want to say that "I believe that this researcher is right ....", in a more formal way. Can I say "The present author believes ....."
1
vote
4answers
378 views

Formal alternative to the phrase 'Not taken seriously' [closed]

I'm writing a legal essay and the sentence is For example, a young person’s reluctance to seek redress, and that youth are often not taken seriously, their words often not repeated in court rooms. ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

Is it acceptable to use a tilde symbol to sign your name? [closed]

Should the tilde symbol (~) be used to sign your name? It seems quite commonplace on Internet forums but I don't believe I've ever seen it used in books.
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Asking a boss to be if agreement still holds?

I'm awaiting for my employment contract to arrive, which is one week overdue. How do I ask my employer to be if our agreement made over the phone is still in force without looking annoying or ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Is “fellow course members” formal

If one enters "fellow course members" In Google one only gets 8k+ hits. It is correct? And a formal way to describe people that took the same course you did? If not, what is? Is there some ...
3
votes
3answers
186 views

A formal synonym/expression for “saying that”

I need a more formal expression for "saying that" here. I couldn't find another formal expression Saying that rape culture is an environment where emotional and physical violence against women ...
0
votes
0answers
107 views

Professional Engineering-related Business Letter

For one of my Engineering Courses, I had to write a professional Business Letter to inform my hypothetical employer of my analysis about two alternatives, and which one of them is better. For this ...