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Questions tagged [register]

'Register' is the degree of formality called for in a particular written or spoken context. Very broadly, we distinguish 'formal', 'informal' and 'vulgar' usage in both writing and speech, but finer distinctions may be needed.

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4answers
3k views

When is it acceptable to omit the subject “I”?

Have noticed that English speakers omit "I" when they are emailing or chatting: How are you doing? Am fine. Also, this occurs often in daily/weekly reports. Have seen quite a few of them, ...
22
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it common to use “gonna” in written English and even in business English?

Gonna is a short form of going to. That sounds a little bit like slang. Is it common to use it in written English and even in business English?
21
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5answers
2k views

Is ending a sentence with a preposition acceptable?

When I learned English at school, I was taught that I should not end a sentence with a preposition. Is it correct to end a sentence with a preposition? To avoid starting a sentence with a ...
15
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5answers
58k views

Is “Bunch of people” a valid phrase?

Some time ago I was told that use of the expression bunch of people is incorrect. Apparently, bunch should not be used along with people meaning group of people. But the problem is that I can hear ...
11
votes
3answers
269 views

How sophisticated does the word 'occidental' sound for the average native speaker?

The word oriental is quite widely used. But its counterpart, occidental is not so popular, at least I don't hear it so often. What's more, my contact with English is mostly by technical documentation,...
10
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3answers
5k views

What's the difference between “veggie” and “vegetable”?

What's the difference between "veggie" and "vegetable"? Can I use them interchangeably? or is there any difference in terms of meaning and usage?
10
votes
4answers
962 views

Is “You alright?” (without “are”) acceptable?

I'm having a hard time figuring out which is the correct form of asking this kind of question. I mean speaking strictly, this doesn't sound right: You alright? or You eaten anything? compared to Are ...
10
votes
2answers
457 views

Under what circumstances does an adverb not get -ly?

I learned in school that it's correct to say really good. On the internet I've also seen real good. Is this grammatically incorrect, or are there particular circumstances under which this is correct? ...
9
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3answers
924 views

Meaning and usage of ain't

Sometimes I encounter ain't, but I really don't know how to translate it properly. What does ain't stand for? If I really wanted to use it, in which contexts would you say it's acceptable using it?
8
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2answers
457 views

Lite instead of Light

I commonly see lite version, lite cream, etc. When is it acceptable to replace light with lite? Is Lite already accepted as correct English or is it just an informal/incorrect spelling? Are there any ...
8
votes
2answers
414 views

The syntax of metaphors in English

I tried to translate a line of a Persian poem into English, it is almost like: If you come to visit me, come slowly and softly Lest the delicate porcelain of my loneliness cracks Here, the ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

“Fixing” an error

Open source programmers commonly use the term "to fix" (as in "fixing an error") to mean to correct (eliminate) an error. Is this use of the term "to fix" common outside open source programming (both ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to concisely express 'at many place' similar to somewhere, nowhere and everywhere?

I searched on the Internet and found the opposite of 'somewhere' is 'nowhere.' This confuses me, because I see it like this: The opposite of "everywhere" (at all places) is "nowhere" (at no places). ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Excrement, faeces or poop?

In daily conversation, when we discuss/say about the baby excrement/faeces. Which word should we used? Excrement, faeces or poop?
6
votes
3answers
617 views

Are British words jarring in US English? [closed]

In particular, I don't mean mere alternate spellings like colour, honour, but words that are entirely different: using lift instead of elevator, fridge instead of refrigerator etc. What is the common ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Difference between “special equipment” and “specialized equipment”

My translation of a text by a pipe-producing plant: Bevel angle inspection Inspection of this type is carried out as specified in the regulatory documentation using a bevel protractor or a ...
5
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3answers
2k views

apropos — is this a common word in English?

apropos Is this word part of your active or passive vocabulary? Do you ever use it at all? If yes, could you please give me some real-world examples related to how one would use this word in ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Can you “carry a child” in your womb?

Can I use "carry a child" to replace "carry a pregnancy"? Are there any single-word verbs I can use in this sense? Surrogacy is an arrangement or agreement whereby a woman agrees to carry a ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Isn't there no difference between yeah, yes and yah

“Are you coming with us?” “Yeah, I'm coming.” (Merriam-Webster's Learner's) In my tongue, for saying ‘yes (Korean yes),’ I could say ‘ye [je̞]’ or ‘ne [ne].’ Korean dictionaries say there’s no ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

“It is not well” or “it is not good”?

Watching an old Dr. Who episode, one character said to another, "Highness, it is not well to think of the past, there is still the future to make." ("The Ribos Operation", 1978) To my ear, this ...
5
votes
3answers
35k views

Asking 'the pleasure of your company' in an invitation

This is a great site - I would happily pay for this advice. I must fess up and say I am a native English speaker (albeit an Irish one) but I'm running into trouble wording a party invitation. Is it ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

“How much are you into us for already?”

I am confused about a line from the movie Kingpin: Ernie: All right, let's go. Thank you for the education, gentlemen. We've just received a PhD in stupidity. (to Roy) Doctor, shall we? Roy: ...
4
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4answers
2k views

How to ask someone to move from their seat?

For example, if there was a sofa in the room, and there were 3 people sitting on it, and there was a little space between their seat. How do you ask them to "move" or to "come close" to each other so ...
4
votes
1answer
685 views

Godspeed as a way of saying goodbye

There are a couple of movies I heard actors using Godspeed as a way to say goodbye. At least I interpreted it this way. I though never heard anyone use this expression in the UK, Ireland, Australia, U....
4
votes
2answers
94k views

“You are” vs. “you're” — what is the difference between them?

“You are” vs. “you're” — what is the difference between them? I get confused between the two a lot. I want to understand how to use them appropriately, because I hate making mistakes.
4
votes
3answers
949 views

“worthy of mention(ing)” or “worthy of a mention(ing)”?

That kind of happening would have definitely been worthy of mention. or That kind of happening would have definitely been worthy of a mention. or That kind of happening would have definitely ...
4
votes
3answers
88 views

Acknowledging someone had an impact on your choice of career

In the acknowledgements section of my thesis, I just wrote: I would like to thank my supervisor X [...]. To a large extent, it is to his credit that I found my way into the field of Y and I am very ...
4
votes
2answers
70k views

“Is it okay for you?” Is this phrase considered formal in school/college setting?

If I emailed my teacher: I've said that I can stay after school to make up the test, but I found out that I have a band rehersal tomorrow. Is it okay for you if I take it on wednesday after school ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Is tricky a formal word?

I am now writing a report which requires me to use formal, academic English...here's the question. I want to describe a task as more difficult, or more challenging than other ones. Can I use the word "...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How to learn English in quick way [closed]

I am not very good with the English language. I have three questions: While talking to others, most of them ask me why I am talking in much too complex a fashion (that is, they are not understanding ...
4
votes
2answers
11k views

Is using “I am writing to” in an email considered too formal or old-fashioned?

I have seen in a letter writing textbook (also many websites like this) while preparing for my English test that we should begin a letter like this : Dear ..., I am writing to ... I have not ...
3
votes
4answers
843 views

Difference between 'humid' and 'muggy' [closed]

Could you let me know the difference between these two adjectives? In my book they seem to be slightly different(by it's not clearly explained) while on the internet most people say that they've the ...
3
votes
3answers
436 views

Is “down” not meaning “below” (e.g. “down the line”) formally acceptable?

One of my biggest issues when learning the language was when I heard people saying "down there" or "down the line" when referring to a counter or a line in a bank, respectively, for example. That ...
3
votes
2answers
238 views

Should we end the given sentence with TO in the given situation?

He's this person who I owe 40$ (to). He's this person I owe 40$ to. He's this person who I owe 40$. Are all these sentences grammatically correct? Are the first and second one grammatically ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

May I use 'Good job, sir' to appreciate my boss' work?

Somewhat, I feel it down using this sentence to our seniors, especially our boss. Good job, sir Or...for that sake.. Well done, sir I need natives' input for this. If I'm working for you/under ...
3
votes
3answers
17k views

“sibling” vs “brother/sister”

Are these words interchangeable? I'm especially interested in how formal/informal are they. Is there any difference between American and British usage? The discussion on english-test.net where two ...
3
votes
1answer
263 views

The authors would thank

Is this a normal sentence in english? The authors would thank XY for his support .... For me as a nonnative speaker it sounds like there needs to follow a negative part .. if XY hadn't screwed ...
3
votes
2answers
872 views

“People persons” versus “people people”

A People person is someone who is outgoing and has good communication skills. He was always energetic and positive and he was a people person. What is the plural of "people person"? I am ...
3
votes
6answers
789 views

Requesting someone to ask a question of another person

Which one would be correct, please a) Just ask him if he has received the payment b) Just ask him has he received the payment c) Just ask him whether he has received the payment
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Trying to understand both the grammar construction and the author's intent: Although (being) of the opinion that… /Destite the opinion that

At the very beginning of a new book, I stumbled over this: The context sentence: The flying lessons were courtesy of her husband, who was the town’s First Selectman. The problem sentence: ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

WILL or continuous forms for habits - which is more common?

Which of the following is more common in everyday speech: She is always mumbling to herself when she's reading. She WILL always mumble to herself when she reads. Is that the emphatic WILL (...
2
votes
7answers
899 views

How to say “a bit of code”

I am describing how this part of my code works: def store_output(self, file_name, identifier): dsc_in = ogr.Open(file_name) if dsc_in is None: raise Exception("Reading data failed.") ...
2
votes
6answers
11k views

Slight nuance between 'fat', 'obese' and 'overweight'

Could someone please tell me about the nuances of the adjectives: Fat Obese Overweight The only difference which comes to my mind is their formality degree, where 'fat' is the most ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

Phrasing and word usage

"I'm the best from all the crowd See me deeper and scream loud, Catch good vibes and inspiration Feel the power and my relation" This short lyric is a matter of argument between me and the ...
2
votes
3answers
332 views

A word denoting something taking place for the last time in an indefinitely large series

I've been looking for the word denoting something taking place for the latest time in an indefinitely large series, for example, the solar eclipse occurring for the______ th(?) time from the beginning ...
2
votes
2answers
12k views

Usage of “after that”

I wrote: Then, we review the related works and after that we present our algorithm. Is it a correct usage of "after that"? I don't want to repeat "then". Is "after that" formal? what about saying ...
2
votes
3answers
195 views

“I left my home village yesterday, for which reason my father is sad now”. Is this sentence awkward?

I and my friend are doing an English exercise which requires us to make a sentence with the phrase "for which reason(s)" I have made this sentence: I left my home village yesterday, for which ...
2
votes
1answer
735 views

“I don't have the car tomorrow.”

My friend and colleague doesn't have a car but he often uses his dad's car; so when he drives to work he most frequently picks me up and we go together. Last night he texted me and said: "I don't ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

What does “let's shoot the shit” mean?

English lyrics by Halestorm rock band: Here's to us: Get another bottle out Lets shoot the shit //What does it mean? Sit back down For just one more drink, oh yeah In some sites it's translated ...
2
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3answers
3k views

What is the difference between someone and somebody? [closed]

Should I say: [•] I'm thinking about someone. Or [•] I'am thinking about somebody.