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

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2
votes
2answers
96 views

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

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
7k 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?
4
votes
2answers
988 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
62 views

Formal alternative to the phrase 'Not taken seriously' [on hold]

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. ...
14
votes
4answers
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
3answers
6k views

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

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
27 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
20 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
108 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
33 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 ...
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?
7
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
899 views

Is answering a question with “Why, ” rude?

In a book I've read some characters are answering questions with "Why, ", e.g. Why not come to me? you ask, and I must answer, Why, because I did not trust you, my lord. and they never mean it ...
50
votes
11answers
4k views

Is “data” considered singular or plural?

Related to this question and this question. My non-native English speaking friend just asked me: Data is ... or Data are ... I said both but that's because I've been desensitized from ...
2
votes
2answers
71 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, ...
2
votes
3answers
82 views

Formal alternatives for: “There is not a need”

I am writing a formal technical report and I would like some advice about an expression I want to use. I have a sentence which I want to make more formal: The merit of their approach is that ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Usage of “is when”

In grade school, when writing stories for English classes I recall being gently corrected whenever I handed pieces in that contained sentences with a structure similar to this: “A debate is ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Is the statement ending with “for” considered proper? [duplicate]

What would be a better and more formal way out of the two below: The capability was not catered for. or We did not cater for this capability. Or perhaps these are fully interchangeable?
0
votes
3answers
138 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
1answer
34 views

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

Which is more formal (i.e. on a resume), "top 1%" or "99th percentile." ?
1
vote
2answers
40 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
103 views

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

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
78 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
446 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
31 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
25k 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
103 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
117 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
43 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
69 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
44 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
168 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
218 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
18 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
117 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
2answers
47 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
30k 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
315 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
57 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
100 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
66 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
455 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
86 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
8k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
326 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 ...