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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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Is “loo roll” a common term for a roll of bath tissue?

Bearing in mind that loo is a common term for the restroom in the U.K., I’ve been listening to Michael McIntyre’s comedy and heard him use the term “loo-roll”, which based on the context seems to be ...
Sᴀᴍ Onᴇᴌᴀ's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
2k views

Would you use "youngsters" to refer to "young people" in a data report?

I've seen somewhere that "youngster" is an informal word. So, would you use "youngsters" to refer to "young people" in a data report? For example: The number of ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
950 views

Are "turn out" and "end up" too informal for academic writing?

Would you find it weird if you read a data report using "turn out" or "end up"? The root of my wondering is how informal it sounds when translated into my mother tongue. ... This ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
67 views

"In which bar shall we go?" vs. "Which bar shall we go to?"

Which is better? In which bar shall we go? Which bar shall we go to? A friend of mine has told me that "In which bar shall we go?" might be too formal. Is that true?
RobertFarlowe's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
244 views

Should 'got' be used instead of 'was' in formal reports?

I frequently write reports for customers with detailed descriptions of my work. Neither me nor my colleagues are native speakers but they frequently use 'got', where I would rather use 'was'. Very ...
lisa-thehexbit's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
64 views

Is the following sentence correct and natural? [closed]

currently a second-year Master of Web Intelligence and Data Science's student Is the above grammatically correct and natural sounding? What is the difference between 'master of' and 'master's in' ? ...
Louardi Brahim's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
78 views

"The given text", or how should students or scholars refer to the text they are given in an exam?

In an exam situation students are often given a text which they have to summarize, analyze, you name it. Often they start their answers "The given text ... deals with" or "The text at ...
wgtwob's user avatar
  • 133
1 vote
2 answers
215 views

"Very well so" correctness and formality?

Person 1: "I hope I answered all your questions." Person 2: "Yes, you did, very well so." Is the "very well so" grammatically correct? What about formality?
WalksB's user avatar
  • 113
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Formality of "that thought is not worthy of you"

Some time ago I learned the phrase "that thought is not worthy of you." My understanding is that this means roughly: "by expressing that thought, you are degrading yourself." My ...
soup_eater1234567890's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
926 views

When to use "thanks for stopping by"?

Is "thanks for stopping by" used for brief visits? And when can we use it, at the beginning or at the end of the visit? Is it informal? If yes, what can we use instead to convey a formal ...
Afaf's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
2 answers
250 views

Can we "go to a movie"? Is it grammatical?

Please tell me, can I say "I go to a movie (I mean a film)"? Because we go to a place not to a film. I saw this sentence in "Tactics for listening": I went to a really dumb movie. ...
Sara2023's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
60 views

Using "take" instead of "need" in formal writing vs casual speech

Is there any preference regarding the use of the following sentences in formal writing vs casual speech? I mean is it acceptable to use "take" in a formal writing in the meaning of need (or ...
alireza's user avatar
  • 1,070
0 votes
1 answer
777 views

Usage of "long time no see/hear" in informal speech

What is the most common thing to say when we send a text to someone who hasn't texted us for a few days? "long time no see" or "long time no hear" or can both be used? Does it ...
User491210's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
78 views

Is shall more formal than will in the spoken language?

English Grammar in Use 5th Edition by Murphy covers 'shall and will' on the page 44; the book suggests that 'will' is more common in the spoken English and no information regarding the question in the ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

must or have to

Pick just one: Tom can’t meet us because he must work. Tom can’t meet us because he has to work. I don’t believe either sentence is wrong, although the grammar book prescribes has to as the answer. ...
meepyer's user avatar
  • 285
0 votes
1 answer
61 views

Is 'all the way up to 100%' a formal expression

I am writing an academic paper and I do not know whether my expression is formal. The full sentence is There is a threshold (we call it take-off threshold) of ρc above which the proportion of the ...
Gao Roy's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

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'?
Exploring's user avatar
  • 135
-2 votes
1 answer
579 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'?
The Amateur Coder's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
a.toraby's user avatar
  • 1,912
0 votes
3 answers
764 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 ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 419
1 vote
1 answer
28 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 ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 419
0 votes
3 answers
111 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 ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 419
0 votes
1 answer
33 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 ...
Koko moko's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
98 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&...
Gregg's user avatar
  • 121
0 votes
0 answers
57 views

"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."...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
76 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?
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
41 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 ...
Fra's user avatar
  • 1,683
0 votes
1 answer
28 views

"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 ...
Mohammad's user avatar
  • 1,487
0 votes
1 answer
31 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!
ZenBerry's user avatar
  • 387
0 votes
1 answer
43 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 ...
Mohammad's user avatar
  • 1,487
0 votes
1 answer
46 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 ...
Amirite's user avatar
  • 13
2 votes
1 answer
291 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 or refer to somebody who ...
SovereignSun's user avatar
  • 25.1k
0 votes
1 answer
29 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
154 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 ...
Hannah's user avatar
  • 506
0 votes
0 answers
30 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'?
yourfriend's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
800 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?
Imran's user avatar
  • 131
1 vote
2 answers
792 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
23 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 ...
pepo's user avatar
  • 107
0 votes
1 answer
93 views

"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 ...
a.toraby's user avatar
  • 1,912
0 votes
1 answer
23 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 ...
pepo's user avatar
  • 107
1 vote
1 answer
57 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 ...
befc's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
0 answers
52 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, ...
a.toraby's user avatar
  • 1,912
4 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
a.toraby's user avatar
  • 1,912
0 votes
2 answers
448 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 ...
Jack's user avatar
  • 101
2 votes
1 answer
1k 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, ...
Severus Snape's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
JQQ's user avatar
  • 433
0 votes
2 answers
288 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 ...
Elia's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
3 answers
14k 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 ...
Emile's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
1 answer
20k 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) ...
Mia's user avatar
  • 1
4 votes
2 answers
7k 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 like ...
Nina's user avatar
  • 131

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