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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1answer
29 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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1answer
17 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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1answer
14 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 ...
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1answer
10 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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1answer
31 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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1answer
35 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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1answer
47 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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2answers
23 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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2answers
26 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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1answer
20 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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1answer
40 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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0answers
21 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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1answer
22 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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1answer
75 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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2answers
692 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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1answer
12 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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1answer
78 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 ...
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1answer
18 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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1answer
18 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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0answers
9 views

Organization structure or structure of organization

Between “organization structure” and “structure of organization”, which one is more commonly use and formal? Thank you
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0answers
23 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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3answers
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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1answer
44 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 ...
2
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1answer
287 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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1answer
284 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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1answer
105 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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1answer
47 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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3answers
770 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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1answer
133 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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1answer
5k 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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2answers
32 views

How do we build a dialogue?

I struggle a lot with dialogues, and I was wondering if you could tell me which of these sentences is correct. If neither is, could you tell me how to build it correctly? :) “I told her my secret.” ...
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0answers
247 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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2answers
538 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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1answer
39 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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1answer
34 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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1answer
47 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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1answer
68 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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0answers
22 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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1answer
65 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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3answers
48 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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2answers
50 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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0answers
51 views

Is it correct to say “the problem of living cost increasing”?

I'm curious about the right way to say the rising of living cost, because usually I will use: The problem of living cost increasing The living cost increasing problem The increasing of living cost ...
2
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1answer
89 views

How formal is “Recipe for a disaster”

I heard the following phrase in a podcast: Credit cards are a bit of recipe for a disaster. I want to know if this phrase "recipe for a disaster" is formal enough to use it in a formal writing? Or ...
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1answer
51 views

Why is “Don't do such stupid things” unnatural? [closed]

I talked to two native speakers of English, and they did not say anything was wrong with the following sentence: Don't do stupid shit. But they said that the following sentence is not ...
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0answers
39 views

“blame me on it”

I have occasionally heard "blame me/them on it" and thought it was a bit jarring. The more common ways, I think, are "blame me/them for it" and "blame it on me/them." Some examples: Alex said in a ...
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1answer
35 views

“that is” in speech

When "that is" means "in other words," can it be used in colloquial speech? Or is it more suited to a formal register? Does the following sound natural in daily speech? We, that is, my brother and ...
3
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1answer
98 views

Are contractions discouraged in formal writing? [closed]

I remember reading something long ago that says people should avoid contractions in formal writing. I wonder whether that is true. And by formal writing, I mean specifically the four types: (1) ...

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