I've read lots of posts that talk about "type of", "sort of" and "kind of".

This post focuses on a particular scenario rather than a general discussion.

I guess the following expression is idiomatic.

Most of my time is spent experimenting with different designs and ideas and seeing what looks good, because attention to detail is important in this kind of work.

I got a sense that kind of work is a very commonly used expression and other 2 expressions seem not that commonly used. So, is it still idiomatic if I substitute "type of" for "kind of"

attention to detail is important in this type of work

or substitute "sort of" for "kind of"

attention to detail is important in this sort of work

1 Answer 1


Yes, I think in pretty much all cases, "kind of (something)", "type of (something)", and "sort of (something)" are all interchangeable, with no real change of meaning, and all are idiomatically about the same.

I think in some cases "kind of" can feel a bit less formal than the others, and I suspect is the most often used of any of them in casual speech, but it's not a really strong difference. Using "sort of" or "type of" are both common too, even in casual speech.

"type of" also as slightly more of a feeling that there might be a formal categorization of types of items that's being used, whereas "sort of" and "kind of" both have a bit more of a feel of "generally similar to" without necessarily any defined "types". But again, this isn't a strong distinction, and "type of" is often used for things with no particular defined "types" too.

Note: "kind of" and "sort of" are also interchangeable when used in the sense of "it is (kind of/sort of) like (something)", but "type of" is not interchangeable in that case. (You can't say "type of like (something)". That's ungrammatical.)

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