Questions tagged [formal-language]

is for questions about whether a word or phrase is appropriate in a formal context or that are requesting a word or phrase for use in a formal context.

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"translator of" or "Translator for"

Is "English translator of this company" correct or "English translator for this company"? I want to introduce my job somewhere and the position I work in it and I don't know which ...
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2 answers
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Please explain the meaning of this phrase

Below sentences is confusingly structured. It is not uncommon for the person being sexually assaulted to have no physical injuries or signs of their assault. Is the meaning that it is common for ...
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Can you use "please" at the end of a question when you request information?

In a previous question, people have noted one can use "please" at the end of questions which serve as a request but not others. However, what about questions which request information? For ...
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What's more natural - "when" or "what" time would be convenient to meet today?

Does it sound natural to ask in an email: Could you please let me know what time and where would be convenient for you to meet today? I thought it is more appropriate to use "when" if I ...
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2 answers
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"I have got to sing" or "I have gotten to sing"

I know that normally in American English we use "gotten" after has/have but in this type of construction, do Americans say "got" or "gotten"? As in "I have got to ...
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Is it correct/natural to say "Can you confirm receipt of the email?"

What is the short formal wording to say "Can you confirm you have received the email?/Did you get the email?" I thought something like "Can you confirm receipt of the email?" is it ...
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1 answer
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Is "happy with ..." formal?

Can I use the following sentence in an email? Is "happy with" formal? if not what are the alternative phrases? "My supervisor is happy with the attached version of the contract" ...
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1 answer
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Inquiry vs Enquiry what's the difference?

Is there a difference between the two words Inquiry and Enquiry when being used in formal writing as the two have been used alternatively in literature. And if not which one should be preferred in ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Is "steer clear of" formal or informal?

In the following text, I need a formal language. Is "steer clear of" appropriately used with an awareness of style? Nature make a favourable impression on people. However, some people have ...
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9 votes
5 answers
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Does saying "Keep it up" put me in an authoritative position?

As a way of congratulating someone on starting a new project, I recently said "Keep it up". The other person said that "keep it up" isn't a phrase one would use outside of work and ...
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1 answer
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Does including 'to be' after linking verbs sounds informal?

Here I provide the excerpt I took from Advanced Grammar In Use: Before a noun we include to be when the noun tells us what the subject is, but often leave it out when we give our opinion of the ...
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Is it okay to ommit personal pronouns in such situations?

I'm wondering if it's considered casual and natural to start sentences without the pronoun, or if a native English speaker would find that odd and feel that I'm either being way too casual or that I'm ...
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sentence falls apart when I add a second example

I wrote some programs in Python that basically reduced lead times and labour costs. I am having difficulty in expressing the whole idea; it's becoming too wordy and hard to follow. Let's start with a ...
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3 answers
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"respectively"—should only be used if your sentence would be unclear without it?

Should we use in academic writing the word "respectively" for the following case: Consider circles 1 and 2. These circles have radii r1 and r2, respectively. Maybe because it is obvious ...
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1 answer
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"or" between items

Which option is the proper in academic writing for "or" items (apples/pears/oranges): I am going to eat red apples or yellow pears or green oranges. I am going to eat red apples, or yellow ...
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Should "as" be dropped in "Incredible lock picking skills as demonstrated by ..."? Why or why not?

I know that "as demonstrated by" is correct usage here: I have incredible lock picking skills as demonstrated by abc and xyz. In the above sentence, dropping "as" would be ...
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Using a comma instead of "and" in "A and B are the objects that are part of the equation."

It is proper to use "," between A and B A, B are the objects that are part of the equation. instead of "and" A and B are the objects that are part of the equation. in formal ...
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1 answer
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Is the usage of "over" in the meaning of "finished" formal?

Is the usage of "over" in the meaning of "finish" like the below sentence formal? My project will be over by 2022.
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Word that is equivalent to "wrote" but is more impactful/powerful and more appropriate in a formal context?

I wrote the following sentence in my resume and got blasted with criticism (intended to help me of course): Delivered over 100 reports summarizing x, y, and z for ... Complaint 1: Did you deliver ...
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5 votes
4 answers
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What is a formal alternative for being "on the same page"?

I am working on a project where there are a number of different stakeholders (people funding the project, supervisor, secondary researchers, etc.). One of the things I do is document all my main ...
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1 answer
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Can the word "exam" be used in formal contexts?

I have looked up the word exam in Cambridge dictionary, Merriam-Webster and Longman. According to these dictionaries, the longer form examination is formal, but that doesn't mean that the shorter word ...
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at the same time as or at the same time when

The sentence: At the same time as the value of x decreases, the variable y and its absolute value decrease. Can we use when instead as? At the same time when the value of x decreases, the variable ...
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1 answer
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Formal you vs. informal you

Since there just one form for both cases and context is one way to get the idea which one is used, is there a way to understand it out of context?
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What verb can I use instead of "get" in "which company should get the contract"?

As the heading suggests, I'm looking for an alternative to "get" in the sentence "Which company should get the contract". I guess "get" works, but I would like a more ...
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Does it sound werid to native speakers if the learners use formal words in casual/everyday speech?

I'm always curious whether using formal words in a casual/everyday speech sounds weird to native speakers. Or maybe the native speakers can notice such uses but don't care at all? For example, the ...
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Using a present or past passive form in a polite request with if

Which of the following forms are preferred in a formal letter, when you want to ask a client to sign your contract sooner. We would also be very grateful if our contract is kindly signed by Ms. X We ...
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12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it okay to say "We are no more in the 20th century"? Using "no more" with periods of time

The most correct form is "We are no longer in the 20th century". But saying "We are no more in the 20th century" or "We are in the 20th century no more" is also correct? ...
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Can A.K.A. be used in formal writing?

I have seen using the abbreviation A.K.A. (also known as) in several online forums and in some social media posts. Can we use this word in formal writing (such as articles, formal letters, etc.)?
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1 answer
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"comma" or "and" between section names? [duplicate]

"Comma" or "and"? Case 1: In §2.1 and §2.2 we prove ... or In §2.1, §2.2 we prove ... Case 2: As mentioned in Section 2 (§2.1 and §2.2) ... or As mentioned in Section 2 (§2....
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How prejudice affects our lives? VS how does prejudice affect our lives? [duplicate]

I'm writting an essay and I have a question... Which one of these questions is correct? How prejudice affects our lives? How does prejudice affect our lives?
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1 answer
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Question about subjunctives in formal text

I am in the process of writing my dissertation (in maths/physics), and for some reason constructions like these come naturally to me: We impose that the background be symmetric. We also require that ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
31 views

Commercial vs private financial gain

While prepping for IELTS academic reading, I've encountered the following passage: The penalties for breaching the copyright act differ slightly depending upon whether the infringing is for ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is “The Tigris is the river we are investigating” grammatical?

I saw the following sentence in formal writing: The Tigris is the river we are investigating. (Please don't change the sentence to "We are investigating the Tigris river" or etc..) ...
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1 answer
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one shouldn't give due credit unless is given likewise

One shouldn't give due credit unless (one) is given likewise Is this sentence both grammatically and semantically alright? I tried to imply that one shouldn't respect others unless one is respected ...
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1 answer
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Use of Whither and Whence

Could you check the following sentences: You should be concerned with where you are going to. You should be concerned with whither you are going. Where all those refugees came from? Whence all those ...
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0 votes
1 answer
43 views

'X' no longer or no longer 'X'

What is the difference between following sentences: "This outpost is no longer used". "No longer this outpost is used". Do both of the given sentences grammatically carry the same ...
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1 vote
1 answer
414 views

Is "on the higher side" a meaningful phrase?

I was documenting a software feature for an internal audience and I wrote: "...when the character count is on the higher side." Here, I wanted to mean a case where the number of characters ...
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1 answer
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passive form in a long sentence

The original passive sentence (word1..word10 are represent a long piece of a sentence: Results that show word1 word2 word3 word4.. word10, are obtained. But in this sentence a verb (obtained) at the ...
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1 answer
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'Some' is a mandatory word? [duplicate]

The well-known book English Grammar in Use [for intermediate] p.143 give this exercise choice: I went to the library and borrowed books/some books. The book answer (some books): I went to the ...
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1 answer
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"Then, it follows" VS "Then, there follows"

I came across these two expressions, that were indicating what was going to follow after a paragraph: Then, it follows And Then, there follows I was told, in an academic context, that the second ...
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1 answer
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'In a way' or 'in the way'?

Could you please help with the following: Are both options correct? If so, what is the difference between those? Otherwise, why one option is incorrect? Most schools are still organised in a way that ...
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3 votes
2 answers
349 views

Plural or single—at velocities or at velocity [duplicate]

Hypothetical Case There are 2 types of cars that move at constant velocity on the road. The first type move at velocity 90 (km/hr), and the second type move at velocity 95 (km/hr). How it is proper in ...
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1 answer
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Am I understanding conditionals correctly?

Could you please help with conditionals usage? I'm practising those right now, but do I understand everything correctly? Zero conditional: If I see water, I drink it // Every time I see water, I drink ...
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0 answers
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'The' before 'physical properties'

I'm preparing for academic IELTS by writing some essays and then correcting those using a grammar correction app. In the following sentence, ...it relies on physical properties of artificially heated ...
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3 votes
2 answers
47 views

Punctuation in 'each gore consists of horizontal segments, or panels'

I'm preparing for academic IELTS by writing some essays and then correcting those using a grammar correction app. In the following sentence, In its turn, each gore consists of horizontal segments, or ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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'Act against' vs 'act against it'

Are both options correct and formal? If so, which one is preferable? 1: It would happen if we don't act against it 2: It would happen if we don't act against Many thanks!
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How do you make this sentence sound formal?

i wonder if anyone could help me with this sentence. i want to make it sound somewhat formal. How would you feel if someone lied to you? OR What would you do if someone lied to you?
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1 vote
0 answers
27 views

What is the correct sentence?

1)Is there any way to check whether my letter has been received? 2)Is there any way to check whether my letter was received? 3)Is there any way to check if my letter was received? I sent a letter a ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Active Infinitives vs. Passive Infinitives. Which one is more suitable for formal writing?

I have seen the following sentence: They gave me a question too hard to answer. However, in my opinion, this use of active infinitive is ungrammatical here, and the following passive Infinitive ...
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0 votes
1 answer
32 views

'Kids' vs 'the kids'

I'm preparing for academic IELTS by writing some essays and then correcting those using a grammar correction app. In the following sentence, Therefore, despite kids tend to form unfriendly societies, ...
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