I went to a deli shop yesterday and found the sign saying, "Sorry, we are closed. Our shop is currently under renewal process" hanging at the door. I could see through the door a little bit; it was very messy and it seemed they were trying to renovate the shop.

I know people usually say 'under renovation', but does it make sense to say 'under renewal' for this also? I don't think it technically does; but my sister says it is okay to say so.

What do you think?

  • 1
    The usual word is renovation. I would not expect a native speaker to use renewal - though they mean virtually the same thing. – WS2 Apr 11 '16 at 6:16
  • Okay, so you are saying it's not wrong to use it, but it doesn't sound very natural to you. Thank you! I appreciate your comment! – joinjoli Apr 11 '16 at 6:25
  • 3
    Except that your sentence would need an indefinite article, so that it became ...undergoing a renewal process. Or better still would be Our shop is currently undergoing renewal. Renewal by itself is not a countable noun, so would not require an article, whilst process is countable. – WS2 Apr 11 '16 at 7:41
  • 2
    "Under renewal" is fine. "Under process" is not. The shop can be in the process. In the process of renewal or whatever. But it cannot be under process of anything. That is not English. – RegDwigнt Apr 11 '16 at 10:14
  • @RegDwigнt I would feel reasonably comfortable saying e.g. your application is under process. I would agree that it is not a common idiom, but I see nothing wrong with it, and there are some examples of it - which you will find if you Google under process. – WS2 Apr 11 '16 at 18:50

Here is my answer:

According to Cambridge Dictionaries Online, the word 'renewal' has 3 different meanings.

  1. The act of making an agreement continue for an extra period of time after it has come to an end: contract/license renewals example) The purchases are subject to annual renewal.
  2. The act or process of making changes to something in order to improve it so that it becomes more successful. Ex.) The country is going through economic renewal.
  3. A situation in which something begins again after having stopped for a period of time. Ex.) Pharmaceutical shares also benefited from the renewal of interest in growth stocks.

For this case, you could technically say ‘Our shop is under renewal’ or ‘Our shop is undergoing a renewal process’ based on the meaning 2 above. There is nothing wrong to it and it is totally understandable to most English speakers.

However, as the 3 commenters mentioned above, using the word ‘renewal’ in this case is not idiomatic and it could be a bit awkward. So it will be much better to say ‘under renovation’ or ‘being remodeled’ for your sake.

Thank you guys for all your help!

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