Questions tagged [formality]

This tag is for questions about formal (versus informal) words and usage. The question must identify a particular concern about the formality of the word or phrase at issue, and specify the target context or audience.

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Single noun/phrase to denote transfer across levels of formality of language

Question: What is the name of the quality denoting the formality/colloquialism of and/or amount of jargon in language? Context: I am writing a review for a paper in which authors developed a model ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the exact meaning of 'give me a pair of'? [closed]

Does a pair always means '2 of something' or can it be used more generically to indicate 'a few of something'? What is the exact amount indicated by 'a pair'? Is there a different meaning whether a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is it wrong to skip the pronoun when writing in the first person? [duplicate]

When writing short texts, usually detailing something I have done, I tend to not use the "I" pronoun in front of verbs, usually in front of past-tense constructions. Have seen it in emails ...
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0 votes
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31 views

Formal alternatives to “I’m always down for...”

I want to say that “I’m always down for a diagnostic challenge”. I have tried, “I always welcome a diagnostic challenge.” Any other ideas of a way to make this more formal?
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3 votes
2 answers
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Using 'WhatsApp' as a verb [closed]

Oxford Learner's Dictionaries presents 'WhatsApp' as a verb and noun. WhatsApp™ verb /ˈwɒtsæp/, /ˌwɒtsˈæp/ /ˈwʌtsæp/, /ˌwʌtsˈæp/ [transitive, intransitive] WhatsApp (somebody) to send a message, ...
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0 votes
0 answers
28 views

What is a good alternative to "I was screwed"? [duplicate]

What is a good alternative to "I was screwed" or "I was fucked"? I want one that is formal enough for an essay. So far, I've thought of I was doomed I was in troubleI was in a ...
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4 votes
5 answers
109 views

Formal variant of 'under the hood'

I am working on my Bachelor thesis and I need to use the formal way of saying 'under the hood'. The context is similar to: The agent accepts the message, performs processing and relays it to DUA. ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Is the expression "As it goes without saying" technically sound and formal?

I am a non-native junior researcher, and in one of my academic reports, I want to write the following sentence to begin my paragraph. As it goes without saying, not all customers are the same. My ...
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0 votes
0 answers
44 views

"In this regard" vs "in regards to this"

I am not a native English speaker but have had English as the medium of instruction throughout my education. While writing an email application, I wrote this line as a concluding statement. "Let ...
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0 votes
2 answers
63 views

Remove duplicate use of "and" with different strengths? [closed]

I wrote the following sentence in English: Part of a development group responsible for releasing security solutions for Google’s Security product and investigating devices while understanding their ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is "You're not" or "You aren't" better for contraction usage of "You are not"? [duplicate]

Basically the title; is it better to use "You're not" or "You aren't" in place of "You are not" in formal writing?
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A first line of a business email when you don't know the name nor gender of a person you write to (and time-agnostic too) [duplicate]

"Greetings," and "hello there" are not businessy enough, are they? "Dear Sir or Madam," sounds a bit too pompous. "Good time of a day" sounds strange. Are there ...
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0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Formal word for overhyped?

Is there a formal word for overhyped? (using the definition: make exaggerated claims about (a product, idea, or event); publicize or promote excessively.)
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1 vote
0 answers
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Difference between 'do so' and 'do' without the 'so' [closed]

I understand that when I wish to repeat an infinitive form of the verb, it's correct to use 'to do so'. For example, He wished to leave the house party, and I wanted to (do so) as well. Here simply ...
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4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Using 'Signed' as a Closing

When writing letters, there are closings that people usually use like "sincerely" or "best" or "thanks", etc. I have sometimes heard people (when reading letters) say &...
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0 votes
0 answers
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an atom vs the atom [duplicate]

In Britannica's Atom term, some general sentences about an atom use "an atom", and others "the atom", why? Sentences with "an atom": The behaviour of an atom is strongly ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is there a "more formal" (or ideally, actual medical/research term?) for being "clucky" / "broody"?

It's a phenomenon that if a woman, A, spends time around a woman, B, who is either pregnant or has a young baby (B is perhaps a sister, friend), sometimes woman A finds herself with "a desire to ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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Informal English sentence correction [duplicate]

What you gotta hose for? Is is correct, can I use this sentence in informal english? How can I say this sentence formally?
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1 vote
0 answers
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manifests or manifests itself

The sentence (from University Physics book, the image of full text is attached): The work done by nonconservative forces manifests itself as changes in the internal energy of objects. Can we delete ...
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  • 105
0 votes
2 answers
127 views

Is "Thus" stilted at the beginning of a sentence?

I'm French, and my students keep using "thus" at the beginning of sentences, which is close to "ainsi, ...", very much used in French. It's a way of rounding up their paragraph. ...
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0 votes
0 answers
25 views

A respectful alternative to the word "you" or "your" [duplicate]

I want to know a respectful and formal alternative for the word you or your . In my native language there are respectful words for you. But in English you doesn't seem to be respectful for calling ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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"Good night", "sleep well", which one is more formal, which one is more intimate? [closed]

"Good night", "sleep well", which one is more formal, which one is more intimate?
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2 votes
2 answers
265 views

"I take on board your thoughts" in a formal setting

I was recently chatting with a prospective business partner (UK) and in the email exchange, mentioned a potential activity I will be engaging in, let's say X, in relation to a previously discussed ...
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0 votes
1 answer
32 views

How to syntactically begin a situation in which I use the phrase "sth to this/that effect" in the next sentence

Here is a simple example: He told me to get out - or words to that effect. Now I'm familiar with the usage of the expression "to this/that effect". I wanted to ask what would be a formal ...
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9 votes
11 answers
3k views

Is there an antonym for "paucity" that means not scarce and not necessarily but possibly enough?

I am trying to fill in the blank in this sentence: "There is a(n) ___ of research on this topic." Using the word paucity would imply, to me, that I feel there is definitely not enough ...
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2 votes
1 answer
58 views

Name for "filler" words that potentially convey lack of self confidence [duplicate]

There are plenty of internet search hits for "filler" words, and how not to use them. I'm not asking about these. I would like to know if there is a name for language that people use which ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is "Mr. Last Name + First Name" correct in formal writing?

I'm translating a formal letter to English. With my previous knowledge of English, I translated names from Singapore and China using the format "Mr. First name + Last Name". For example: (1) ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
130 views

Thanking someone for their email [closed]

I run a business and answer several emails a day. I tend to interact with people in an informal way. On their first message, I always put "Thank you for messaging me" in the first line of a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
445 views

What's an eloquent way to say " Please rush my request"? [closed]

I would like to ask the person from whom I am requesting service, to do so quickly. I would not like to come across as rude, nor brash. Thank you
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0 votes
0 answers
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Can I say "someone is ample"?

My friend appoints someone to be our spokesperson in an interview. And I think this person is enough to answer all questions, thus my friend does not need to find another spokesperson. I want to reply ...
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0 votes
2 answers
178 views

Mrs and Mr His Full Name

My father’s name is Piyush Singh and my mother’s name is Seema Singh. My question is whether referring to them as Mrs and Mr Piyush Singh wrong.
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0 votes
0 answers
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What does "your end" mean? [duplicate]

In my English homework, a student gets asked if she would put "Any news your end" in a formal or informal letter. My class should translate it, but in my native language it means something ...
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0 votes
2 answers
42 views

Alternatives for "demand"

"The job Y demands familiarity with Z." How do you say the above sentence, when the familiarity with the product Z is not necessary, but helpful as a part of job Y? Just to give a little ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Do I have to put ,Inc. every time I mention our company in a single article?

I write blogs for our company website, often commenting on what services our company provides, so I will usually mention our company name a few times in the article. It is a local company, but it is ...
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0 votes
2 answers
93 views

Can I use latter when there is only one option?

In this sentence, "latter" sounds good to me (but I am not a native English speaker). Over successive stages of the model the urban population evolves to the optimal solution. The latter is ...
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1 vote
0 answers
556 views

"I ain't never seen" vs "I ain't seen" which one is correct? [duplicate]

As far as i know we do not need to add "never" because ain't is already have a negative meaning.
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4 votes
10 answers
2k views

Opposite of "under the weather"?

British TV Shows are a good way to learn language. At the moment I'm watching Situation Comedy classic series Black Adder, Season one on DVD format. I learnt a new phrase "under the weather" ...
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0 votes
0 answers
56 views

How formal is “Bless [him/her]”?

I am living in the UK, and I have recently started noticing quite a lot of people saying “bless [him/her]”, in contexts similar to: — He has been doing poorly. — Oh, bless him! — She is so cute, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
710 views

Is 'please tell me how can I help you' grammatically correct? [duplicate]

Is it the right way to ask if someone is asking for your help?
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4 votes
2 answers
154 views

What function does the comma serve in the salutation of a letter, and when did it come about?

In a letter, we say "Dear Alexthecampbell," before starting the body. We then capitalize the first letter of the next sentence. Since the salutation functions like a header and isn't part ...
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1 vote
1 answer
93 views

Phrases to differ respectfully [duplicate]

If I were to disagree with an opinion, how should I write it in a respectful and idiomatic way? Normally I would write; "Tinged with regret, I respectfully disagree." Are there any other ...
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0 votes
1 answer
45 views

"It's a great thing" in a formal letter? [closed]

Is it ok to say "it's a great thing that your company does this and that because..." in a business letter or is there another way to say it ?
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Formal title/honorific for a lawyer

Let's say there is a lawyer named Sue Smith. She could be referred to as Ms. Smith, but is there a different formal prepended honorific specific to lawyers? Particularly when addressing one directly.
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0 votes
0 answers
29 views

Is it correct/preferred to use "present" as adjective instead of "this" when writing legal stuff?

Sometimes there are legal documents that, literally translated into English, contain the phrase "the present document/contract" whenever a reference to the document itself is made within the ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
66 views

It should be used **with** in this paragraph?

Should be used with in this paragraph to indicate the contribution that she could do by studying a specific master's program? Using water is necessary but it needs to be done carefully to avoid ...
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2 votes
1 answer
55 views

Is 'excelled' appropriate here?

I am wondering whether excelled was correctly used or not in this paragraph?. I do not want to use outstanding. Despite she is from a vulnerable region in the countryside with low educational ...
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1 vote
3 answers
79 views

Would "temporal proximity" be an effective way to label the axis of a graph?

I have a bunch of events that vary in duration and also vary in how recently they occurred. I want to graph these events so that they look like a typical bar graph, with all the bases resting on the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
46 views

Use of "pull" in lieu of the phrasal verb "pull off"

Example: "pull a miracle" instead of "pull off a miracle". A quick google search shows the former being used in sports contexts, though I have heard of it in informal conversation ...
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0 votes
1 answer
48 views

Can we use "Not only, but too" instead of "Not only, but also,?

I am wondering about the use of "Not only, but too" instead of "Not only, but also.? For example: The candidates campaigned not only in Perth but in Darwin too. and is it formal to ...
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1 vote
0 answers
396 views

"Thank you in each case" usage [closed]

I was wondering is the phrase "Thank you in each case" appropriate to say at the end of question asking someone for some help, in formal or informal situations. I very often use it, and was ...
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