Questions tagged [formality]

is for questions about whether a word or phrase is considered formal or informal. Be sure to include as much context as you can, because sometimes how formal or informal a word or phrase is can be different in different situations.

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What is a formal word for 'coming weeks'?

Is there a way to write this sentence more formally? I will follow up with you to discuss my research work in the coming weeks. How can I replace the phrase 'coming weeks'?
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1 answer
35 views

Is "assumation" a valid abstract noun of 'assume'? [closed]

Is 'assumation' a valid abstract noun of "assume" as: "You have to make an assuming that x is a real number" sounds incorrect? How formal is 'assumation'?
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3 votes
3 answers
902 views

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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3 answers
60 views

"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 vote
1 answer
26 views

"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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3 answers
53 views

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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0 votes
1 answer
23 views

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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2 votes
1 answer
58 views

Different ways of saying dates in US English

This question is about the stylistic differences between certain expressions in American English. When one has to say a date out loud, there are 4 possibilities in US English. "Month + ordinal&...
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"This is the one encyclopedia upon which I can depend." Can I put the proposition 【upon】 at the end of the sentence?

"This is the one encyclopedia upon which I can depend." Can I put the proposition 【upon】 at the end of the sentence? That is" This is the one encyclopedia which I can depend upon."...
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1 answer
38 views

Are "far better" and "way better" both in the same register?

Are "far better" and "way better" both in the same register and interchangeably used? If not, what's the difference between them?
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1 answer
21 views

What's the difference in meaning and formality between these questions?

A. "You're feeling a little nervous, aren't you?" B. "Feeling a little nervous, are you?" C. "A little nervous, are you?" My questions are: Are B and C correct? Is there ...
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"break one's habit of", "break the habit of", "break one's .... habit", are they formal?

Consider the following sentences: He is trying to break his habit of biting his nails. He is trying to break the habit of biting his nails. He is trying to break his nail-biting habit. He is trying ...
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0 votes
1 answer
13 views

'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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1 answer
38 views

Formal equivalent for "something something" to fill in the blank created by leaving out unimportant information

I quoted a comment in which only the first and last parts were relevent to the point I was trying to make and instead of the middle (unimportant) part I wrote: Something something which I later ...
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0 votes
1 answer
39 views

How should I address the readers in a product review? [closed]

Occasionally, I leave reviews on the games I play. I mostly use "the player" or "players" in my text to have a rather formal tone. However, my formal writing is not as rigid as you ...
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1 vote
1 answer
85 views

Them instead of Him/Her formal reference

"Sir, Mr. Grapefield is waiting at the door" "Invite them in then. I will see them shortly" Can such a reference exist in English? Can we formally address somebody as "them&...
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1 vote
2 answers
51 views

Is 'duration' a natural/standard term for end time - starting time?

I know duration is ok here, but is that always the word a native would choose? Is there any more natural alternative? For example: Start Time: 3ᴘᴍ End Time: 6ᴘᴍ Duration: 3 Hours I came across some ...
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1 vote
2 answers
29 views

Does "ruin the experience" sound informal? [closed]

Does "ruin the experience" sound informal? I'm writing an essay and I'm wondering if it's appropriate to use such a phrase.
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1 answer
23 views

What does the format "someone on something" imply?

In this example: Barack Obama on food and climate change: 'We can still act and it won't be too late'. what does “Obama on food and climate change” mean? Is it a formal way of saying someone's ...
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1 vote
1 answer
84 views

What would be a more formal way of saying "do a lot of teaching"?

I want to say that lecturers at our faculty do a lot of teaching, but to my ears, this phrasing is rather informal – am I right? So, what would be a more formal (or at least less informal) way of ...
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0 answers
25 views

Do dictionaries sometimes say nonsense?

For example, plural nouns like 'clothes' and 'pants' actually are singulars, but we call them 'plural nouns.' If it's true, what words is appropriate to describe these cases? 'Formal'?
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1 answer
25 views

Up (with) the workers!

Here are a few questions about expressions like: Up (with) the workers!" Are they old-fashioned? Do they mean the same as "Viva . . ."? Could we say, e.g., "Viva the workers!&...
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1 answer
236 views

What should I address while there are two women teachers?

I have to write a note to my course teachers and both of them are women. So, how should I address them? Dear Ma'ams or Dear Madames or anything else?
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1 vote
2 answers
721 views

Why don't foreign phrases such as "mot juste" get anglicized when used in English?

English has borrowed (or stolen?) a lot of vocabulary from other languages such as Latin, German, Italian, French and Spanish etc. Most words that are borrowed are anglicized and are pronounce the way ...
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0 votes
1 answer
16 views

Quotation marks are necessary in this context?

Moreover, they are causing the disappearing of several Punos, which are endemic wetlands of my region vital to the wildlife. Karachi is where my family and I plan to keep living , but due to the ...
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1 answer
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"In spite of" vs. "despite"

Which one is more formal and suitable for an academic context? Despite being elected to office, she remains first and foremost a writer. In spite of being elected to office, she remains first and ...
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1 answer
20 views

Is it necessary to add 'to' before 'develop projects'?

Furthermore, this master is crucial for enhancing his capacity to research and develop projects related to subterranean water, which are required to supply the urgent demand of water for zones with ...
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1 vote
1 answer
25 views

"Municipality of <municipality-name>" or "<municipality-name> Municipality"

I was discussing with some people about which form is more correct regarding a Municipality, or other territory divisions. For example, regarding to a map of the municipality, is it more correct to ...
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0 answers
29 views

In layman's terms vs. simply put

In the following sentence: Simply put, the impacts of global warming are going to be more evident in not-too-distant future. Can I use In layman's terms instead of simply put? In layman's terms, ...
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is ball-park figure formal or informal?

Is it OK to use this expression in an academic text? The given charts represent ball-park figures of mortality rates in European countries. Is ball-park formal enough to be used in an academic ...
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0 votes
2 answers
196 views

Better (more formal) way to say this?

if I went to ask what are some of the sources of education where a person get knowledge from, how can I say this in a more formal way? I'm not native native English speaker, still learning so I still ...
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2 votes
1 answer
543 views

India specific- Addressing multiple men and women in an interview

In an interview in India, how am I supposed to greet the people (all of them together) in the interview panel? The interview panel consists of at least two men and at least two women. Good morning, ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
953 views

"Hi Joe" vs. "Hi Mr Parker" when writing an email

Joseph Parker is an English tutor and he likes his students call him Joe. By tutor, I mean he doesn't teach at college or school. He teaches English with an online classroom. Which probably means it's ...
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0 votes
1 answer
114 views

Are there any differences in the ways of speaking English by men and women? Any typical examples?

In Japan, my home country, men and women speak slightly differently in terms of word choice and how to end a sentence, to give you just a few examples. This is especially true in informal situations. ...
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0 votes
2 answers
114 views

Did a program or have taken part in a program?

I want to say that I "did" a student exchange program in another country. which way is the correct way of writing that in a formal letter / application: I have taken part in a student ...
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1 vote
3 answers
4k views

Asking 'why are you asking this to me?'

Someone asks me a question in very formal conversation. And I want to know why he/she is asking me this question. Basically, I want to know the reason and purpose behind this question. How can I ask ...
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0 votes
1 answer
303 views

Is it normal to find mistakes in the novel “Lord of Flies”?

I started reading “Lord of Flies” from William Golding, and so far I really like it. However, I came across many grammar or verb mistakes like the ones below: “Your dad don’t know, nobody don’t know......
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0 votes
1 answer
11k views

I didn't forget vs I haven't forgotten

Not a native English here and I'm having the issue with I didn't and I haven't use when saying I hope I didn't forget/haven't forgotten anything (to say/mention when answering the email or message) ...
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1 vote
0 answers
1k views

Do we say “given” or “given that“?

Which is the formal one? “Given I’m tired, I won’t be there.” “Given that I am tired, I won’t be there.” Can we omit the “that” after “given” or it won’t be formal anymore? Other examples: I don’t ...
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1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Damning problem

As a task at my university, I am proofreading and commenting on an academic paper of my groupmate. I came across the word combination "damning problem" in the following context: The most ...
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1 vote
1 answer
48 views

Is "long since" a conversational phrase?

Is "long since" a conversational phrase? Or is it more likely used in written document? Even though her parents have long since died, she still talks about them in the present tense. Have you ...
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0 votes
1 answer
60 views

Is "to be (couple of pages) in" formal or informal?

For example: I lost interest after I had been a couple of pages in. Can we use this sentence in formal situations?
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0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Make a warning message sound as official as possible [closed]

I am attempting to write a warning message for an email program. My users have informed me that the message sounds unofficial and somewhat scammy. WARNING: The sender of this email is from someone ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
165 views

Why do people call you a nickname when you introduce yourself with a proper name

As a rule, I always introduce myself using my proper first name, "Thomas". With this I expect people to refer to me and call me by that name. However, there are a significant number of people who go ...
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1 vote
0 answers
25 views

How much time does it take to be an English master [closed]

How much time does it take to be an English master I mean how to speak English like your native language and how much time does it take???
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0 votes
1 answer
68 views

Teacher said I write in a pompous register? Why? Could you help me understand? [closed]

Okay, so I've submitted a proposal to my teacher. I get the part that I've made inaccurately structured sentences, also I understand that I have missed to an extend the point of the given task. But I ...
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0 votes
3 answers
55 views

Is 'be to verb' the only case of

any construct getting formal when they get shorter? Normally, when you shorten a phrase, then they feel like informal or colloquial. I heard that 'be to' construct is the short form of 'be going to' ...
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1 vote
2 answers
65 views

Compliance "to be mandatory"

I want to ask a question about the function of the word "compliance". I was writing a text regarding politics and wanted to mention whether if the United Kingdom left the EU whether some of the ...
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