I was talking to my colleague today and said him something along these lines:

Do you want me to send you the file so you could give it a look before we attach it to the release plan?

Then, instantly, I realized "to give a look" might sound either too informal to be used with a business person at work whom you don't speak too informal with, or could not even be used by native speakers that much (if ever). So it can sound awkward or maybe just not good.

Do English speakers use "give a look" and in which cases? I did a quick research, there are a lot of articles on the Internet with "give it a look" but it's not in any dictionary I could check.


More details (as per FumbleFinger's suggestion):

1) the level of informality required - I'd say more formal than informal. The person being asked to review the file is a business person (and older, so more respect) and you are a technical person, yet you are colleagues and there's no junior/senior aspect to the relationship.

2) any "junior/senior" aspect to the relationship - N/A :)

3) the reason you're offering the other person a "preview" - to quickly go through the file and see whether it looks OK or not.

Here's a SO link for "take/have a look" though: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/22827/have-a-look-vs-take-a-look

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    To give it a look or look it over isn't quite as informal as, say give it the once-over, or eyeball it, but it's certainly in that general area. In a more formal work context you should probably decide whether you're offering the other person early sight of the text so he can check it for errors, or simply so he has advance warning of what it contains. Those are different offers, so they're likely to be expressed using different words. Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 12:19
  • @FumbleFingers, thanks for the details. In this specific example, does it sound ok to be used with a colleague at work? Considering you don't normally talk very informal with them.
    – Arman
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 12:31
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    You could, but note that give it a look strongly implies you're seeking approval (proofreading, checking accuracy/acceptability, etc.). If you don't want those connotations just go with standard so you can see it. Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 12:39
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    You should edit your question text to clarify both those points. There are probably many alternatives, but which to go for will be heavily influenced by; 1 - the level of informality required, 2 - any "junior/senior" aspect to the relationship, and 3 - the reason you're offering the other person a "preview". Even as I write item #3 there, I'm having to choose between offering (it's to his advantage to see the file before others) and asking (him to check it, which is to your advantage). Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 12:58
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    @FumbleFingers, followed your suggestion. Edited.
    – Arman
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


In ascending level of informality, you could ask your colleague to give it a look, give it the once-over, eyeball it.

So far as I'm aware, there's nothing particularly informal about look it over, but you might prefer to be more explicit about exactly why you want him to look at it: ...so you can check it before release.

Purely my own opinion, but I think check it out is much more informal (whereas check it over doesn't seem unreasonable in a formal context, but they have slightly different nuances anyway).

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