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

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1
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1answer
13 views

“Top 1 %” or “99th percentile” for formal usage?

Which is more formal (i.e. on a resume), "top 1%" or "99% percentile."
12
votes
3answers
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
29 views

Formalities calling work colleagues, clients an partners as Pal/Pals

In my work we have a collaborative tool for work interaction where we debate things like workflow and issues. I'm in a interaction with workmates, client employees and partners. I thought to reference ...
2
votes
3answers
87 views

closing words for e-mail to person with incurable disease [on hold]

What kind of closing words as an alternative to We wish you full and quick recovery can be used in a formal letter when writing to a person with an incurable disease. I/We wish you all the ...
3
votes
3answers
74 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Using “e.g.” instead of “for example”

I am reviewing a software manual, and I frequently come across sentences like (made-up example): The value is 1, but you can set it to e.g. 100 It seems to me that the use of "e.g." is wrong in ...
1
vote
1answer
406 views

Are “kinda”, “sorta”, “oughta” and “sposta” acceptable in formal writing?

I get that sorta, kinda, sorta-kinda (this one I quite like though) oughta and sposta imitate speech but it still niggles me to find them "in print", especially when the overall tone is formal. ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Which terms are used to describe language usage?

When trying to explain the usage of words in French to English speakers, I'm handicapped by my lack of vocabulary to describe when words are used. Looking in dictionaries for the French terms give me ...
10
votes
5answers
24k views

More formal way to say “follow up”

I am writing a formal letter and want to say "I am following up with you regarding..." but I need to say it more formally.
4
votes
3answers
6k views

Usage of 'Hi' and 'Dear' in Formal Communication [closed]

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.
0
votes
2answers
90 views

What is the best time / are the best times for a meeting?

I'm about to arrange a meeting with a person. I have a feeling that when I say "What is the best time for a meeting?", I'm sort of forcing them to come up with one option only. I'd like to show them ...
2
votes
5answers
110 views

Verb in active voice for “being penetrated”

The context is sexual and the example, straightforward: providing an alternative to "a man's penis penetrates a woman's vagina" where the female organ is the subject of the sentence, and using a verb ...
-1
votes
1answer
3k views

App or app? When I refer to it in a formal paper

In Android contexts, should the 'a' in 'app' be uppercase always or lowercase?
0
votes
2answers
41 views

What should I use in this case: “despite”, “though,” or “even though”?

That way my mom can move on, find someone else, despite having sworn she'd only marry God." That way my mom can move on, find someone else, though she swore she'd only marry God." ...
23
votes
5answers
7k views

Why should I use “ought to”?

Is "ought to" still used in modern English? If yes, in what contexts is it used, and is it used more in formal or informal cases?
0
votes
1answer
22 views

usage of dissimilar

This sentence is grammatically correct. But does it make sense to use word dissimilar to avoid repetition of different here? the results would be absolutely dissimilar if there is any slight ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Is “hard to read at spots” appropriate in formal writing? [closed]

I have seen 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 the ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

using are to name but a few

In a very formal writing style, Is it fine to use to name but a few in a separate sentence? There are a lot of algorithms to do hashing. MD5, SHA1 and CRC are to name but a few.
1
vote
2answers
127 views

Starting a Sentence with a Conjunction [duplicate]

My high school English teacher taught us to never start a sentence with conjunctions, but throughout the years I have seen a lot of such usage in academic writings and novels. I have also read various ...
0
votes
3answers
105 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
111 views

What's an alternative for “hidden gem”?

Hidden gems is an idiom which means something which is extremely outstanding and not many people may know about; for example, Blame It on Rio by Stanley Donen is a good movie, but relatively unknown ...
1
vote
2answers
54 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
1answer
17 views

“A single thing” as one and only thing?

"the new design allows a single car to be used as both truck and bus" "two people can use a single computer at the same time" Can a single thing used like that to emphasize that only one thing is ...
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

formal way of asking help & information [closed]

i want to write an email to professor to get an information about result of shortlisted candidates in university. what is formal way to ask him to "let me know".
1
vote
3answers
40 views

What is the informal phrase to compare two difficult tasks

To give you the context, let's say you are moving house. Packing stuff is a difficult job as well as moving them to the new place. In my mother language, if I translate it word by word, we say: ...
12
votes
10answers
28k 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
132 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
48 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
91 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?
1
vote
1answer
55 views

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

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
2answers
152 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
46 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 ...
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 ...
6
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
176 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?
54
votes
15answers
20k 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
1answer
48 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
137 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?
15
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
42 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
151 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
129 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
70 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
31k 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
7k 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
327 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 ...