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

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-1
votes
2answers
33 views

A more polite/formal way of saying “contact us, we will get back to you” [duplicate]

I'm doing some language correction for my mom's company website. While my English is much better than hers, I'm not a native speaker, and I've never really focused on business English in my studies. ...
-1
votes
1answer
44 views

To “opt-out” or to “withdraw”?

Which is more formal in register, opt-out of something or withdraw from something? Are there any more formal ways to phrase the idea?
-1
votes
2answers
76 views

Is there a word in English that essentially means “I” or “we” in formal context?

In Swedish there is a word, "undertecknad", which would refer the author of a piece of text. It is an expression used in formal context when you try to objectify yourself (and avoid saying "I") out of ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Is “whatsoever” a formal word in written English?

The authors make no mention whatsoever about... Is this sentence appropriate for formal writing?
0
votes
1answer
49 views

What is the formality of “hard to read at spots”? [closed]

I have seen some people using the expression "hard to read at spots" for stating that some parts of a text are unclear (or that some reading conditions are negatively affecting the understanding of ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Is 'log' (short for 'logarithm') considered too informal for an academic paper in the social sciences? [on hold]

Should I write (in the main body of the text) The dependent variable is the logarithm of GDP. or The dependent variable is the log of GDP. or even: The dependent variable is log GDP. ...
-2
votes
3answers
47 views

A formal way to express “many things go out of control”? [closed]

In an opportunistic and alcohol motivated party many things go out of control "Many things go out of control" is common use, I could not find a proper way to express it in Formal English.
1
vote
3answers
55 views

A formal synonym/expression for “saying that”

I need a more formal expression for "saying that" here. My supervisor told me it is informal English, but I couldn't find another formal expression Saying that rape culture is an environment ...
2
votes
2answers
47 views

Status of 'Dear Both' as a salutation

It seems quite common (although not universally accepted) to open emails addressed to a large group with "Dear All," (see e.g. this question). Extending this logic, is seems reasonable to open with ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Indulge/Kill/Satisfy my curiosity

I have few questions for my customer and I want to say him that it is just my curiosity. What is the right sentence which I can use to deal with my customers so that they won't find it funny or ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Is “aha” an appropriate answer to “thank you”?

I have heard many native speakers in the United states answer with a brief and cold "aha" when someone says "thank you". Is it really appropriate to answer like that? I myself feel offended when I ...
3
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
8answers
4k views

A more formal word for 'Screwed.' [closed]

Hi I'm doing a formal writing essay and I'm using a phrase from an online source. In this phrase it has Your screwed. Would I get away with having this phrase in the essay? If not what is an ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

What do you say to wish your fellows a good lunch? [duplicate]

It's lunch time, you joined a table with people, you are about to start eating, but just a moment before you do so, you want to wish everyone a good lunch. If they were French you would say: Bon ...
7
votes
5answers
7k views

Is using “and/or” recommended for formal writing, or is it frowned upon?

Is using "and/or" allowed in formal writing? If not, is there general way to represent the OR binary operator with as little space as possible in written English?
53
votes
15answers
19k views

When to use “nude” and when “naked”

The question is quite clear. Is there any difference (semantically or connotationally, if that's a word) between nude and naked? Nude seems more formal to me, but I'm not quite sure. Interesting: ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

What is your order in your siblings? [duplicate]

If i want to ask someone that "what numbered kid you are of your parents?", as in third kid or second kid, so how do I put it nicely?
0
votes
0answers
50 views

What is a good alternative for 'Yours truly' while quoting yourself? [migrated]

I wish to use a phrase/word after a quote, to indicate that it was me who came up with it (i.e. a phrase to quote myself) This is for a blog post. Is there any way to do so without telling ' "......" ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Informal Version of 'Respectively' [duplicate]

When I say: The board and council meetings will be held on the 5th and the 6th of this month, respectively. it seems to be the proper way to say it and it sounds correct . But when I say: ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Does “is that ok for you?” means the same of “does that work for you?”

Do they mean exactly the same? Is one form more formal/casual than other? Can I say one of them in a email that is not very formal?
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it “falsy” or “falsey”?

I have seen both versions of the word, falsy and falsey. It can mean "something that is equivalent to false" in computer science, such as "The only two falsy values in the Ruby Language are false and ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

The quality of things you stick with

I was wondering if there is a word in English to describe the quality of things we stick with. For example, if a training is well designed, people will tend to keep using it. Meanwhile, if it's not, ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Is there a formal version of “as is” for a program

I am trying to summarize 3 phrases in one (if this is possible) for a program: 1. Program is provided "as is" 2. Program is provided for testing purposes 3. Program is provided for trial purposes ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Avoiding stuffy language: “Therefore”, “Thus”

In my thesis, I'm using "thus" and "therefore" a lot. This is repetitive and it sounds stuffy. Is there any alternative which sounds a bit more relaxed but is acceptable in scientific writing? "So" ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

How to distinguish formal words from informal words?

As an English Learner, how can I distinguish (or recognise) formal words from informal words. Also, formal sentences from informal sentences. For example: So/Then/Therefore/Thus and many others. Are ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

How to properly say “the email that I've sent you”? [closed]

What would be the most formal way to say the following: I wanted to see your thoughts about the email that I sent you last Thursday. I am a little unsure about "the email that I sent you". I feel ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

What's a formal way to say something is “happening”?

What is a formal way to say something has a lot of activity in it? I can only think of two informal ways to say it. For example: This field of physics is very "happening" right now. This field of ...
12
votes
9answers
29k views

How often do people say “gotta”, “wanna” or “gonna” in English speaking countries?

I learned these three words from Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner's English Dictionary. got|ta /g'ɒtə/ Gotta is used in written English to represent the words 'got to' when they are ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Is using “have” better than using “got” in the following sentence?

Take a gander at the following two versions of the same sentence: "I got an mp4 video file" vs. "I have an mp4 video file" Someone 'corrected' me by changing the first form to the second ...
1
vote
2answers
275 views

“simply”, “merely” and “only” - Are they interchageable in formal writing?

In the following sentence: "They are ....... wasting their time." Would "simply", "merely" and "only" be interchangeable? When I was a student of English I was taught the use of "simply" in formal ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

When we are making a project in a group, how can we say that sentence?

Hello I'm preparing a CV in English. What is the formal way of saying I'm in an project? This sentences below are valid or not ? Thanks. I'm included to a project. I have been enrolled to a project. ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Is it correct to say ''you ARE to be back here before dark'' [duplicate]

I'm reading a novel and a character says this line:''you ARE to be back here before dark'' but I could not find this usage of the verb to be in my dictionary, so here I ask you if this is informal ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

the slang contraction of “what'd he” as in the sentence “what'd he come at you with”

What is the slang contraction of "What'd he" as in the sentence "What'd he come at you with"? "What'd he" is already a contraction but I mean in the same manner like whatcha = what're you=what've you, ...
11
votes
10answers
26k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
15k views

What are sentences like “the longer X, the more Y” called and can they be used in formal written English?

What is the type of sentence exemplified below called? Is it appropriate to use it in a scientific paper and formal written English in general? 1. The more pronounced the variation, the more the ...
0
votes
3answers
153 views

What is a formal word meaning “paid off”?

I can not think of any way to say paid off in a formal way. Susan’s speech and struggle during those rough times has _______.
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Alternative for “particularly interested” [closed]

What are other formal ways of saying "I'm particularly interested in..."? In this case it's for use on cover letters for CVs. The synonyms for "interested" offered by the thesaurus don't seem ...
25
votes
4answers
3k views

The times they are a-changin'

I have always been intrigued by the word usage in the title of this Bob Dylan song. Wikipedia mentions that the song was influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads: Dylan recalled writing the song ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are contractions considered unprofessional?

I've heard people specify not to use contractions in order to maintain a degree of professionalism. I've heard this mentioned by fellow students while in school as well. I've never heard this with ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the word 'cocksure' considered informal, non-PC, or even vulgar?

None of the following resources seem to think so: Merriam-Webster, The Free Dictionary, Oxford Dictionaries, Collins. But Cambridge Dictionaries Online says it is informal. And it appears on Urban ...
5
votes
5answers
23k views

“Much obliged” — Old-fashioned? Polite? Pedantic?

I've heard someone say "Much obliged!" a couple of times, instead of the usual "Thank you!". A common phrase in Portuguese ("Muito Obrigado") and maybe other languages, but certainly unusual in ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is ‘Yes-ish’ a perfect alternative to Yes, or is it 'Yes ‘on condition’? Is it received English?

I found a word ‘Yes-ish’ in the answer (from PLL) to my question about the meaning of ‘Stuck to the script’ I posted today. As it is quite new to my ear, I consulted with Wikipedia before logging out ...
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a formal word for people that are local to a place? [closed]

I wish to write about the people and language of a city I recently visited in an essay. Is there a word for people who are local to a place?
5
votes
11answers
1k views

What is a formal equivalent of “get (a)round something”?

I'm writing a formal letter and I have to use the verb "get round something" (BrE) or "get around something" (AmE) to express a way of finding an alternate solution to deal with a problem. Quoting the ...
1
vote
3answers
2k 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. ...
0
votes
0answers
82 views
62
votes
20answers
426k 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?
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Acceptability of Gonna, Wanna [closed]

How acceptable is it to use wanna, gonna, etc in business or more formal US environments?
4
votes
4answers
143 views

Why do some people say “My name is Doctor / Dr. X” instead of “I'm Doctor / Dr. X”?

I'm Portuguese and I live in Portugal. Here it's (still) common to see some people using their academic/professional title in introductions: "Hi, I'm Doctor / Dr. / Eng. X". However, when watching ...