I came across this idiom "sweaten the deal/pot" and I want to know if I can use it in formal context or not.

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    It's sweeten, not sweaten. And it's an informal colloquial expression, so don't use it in formal or legal contexts. Sep 13, 2023 at 17:58
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    Also, this phrase often implies you're trying to bribe someone, so it may cause offense if it's not clearly a joke/metaphor. Sep 13, 2023 at 18:19
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    Several of your questions ask "Can I use X in a formal context", but there is a great range of "formality". In a personal essay, it might be fine. In a wedding invitation, it would be odd. In a business letter, it would be strange, as it might be understood as suggesting a bribe. There isn't just "formal" and "informal", there are a whole range of contexts Generally, formal writing is simple, plain, free from metaphor and fancy English. In formal writing you say exactly what you mean, rather than use words figuratively.
    – James K
    Sep 13, 2023 at 21:35
  • +1 with @JamesK that instead of asking whether something is 'formal', OP(s) need(s) to provide exact situation where they intend to use the phrase/expression/word in question. Written form, formal, official, standard etc these are non-specific.
    – Rakib
    Sep 13, 2023 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


It is sweeten, as FumbleFingers pointed out. It is informal. However, it is not extremely informal. Avoid using it in professional writing or in a press conference. It is okay to use to a coworker or acquaintance.

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