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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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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727 views

“cranial” vs “cerebral”

Is there a substantial difference between the adjectives "cranial" and "cerebral"? Are these ones interchangeable in a not-so-medical context?
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1answer
83 views

Use the verb “to mothball” in official texts

I saw a Wikipedia article (and not only this one) using the verb "to mothball" to denote rather obsolete, abandoned, put-on-hold methods or phenomena, e.g.: So by 2003, the original ECMAScript 4 ...
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4answers
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“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 ...
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3answers
92 views

Is “crimp an aluminium cap on” a naturally-sounding phrase?

My translation from Russian: Fill the vial with nitrogen, then immediately close it with a stopper and crimp an aluminium cap on. The Russian original uses the word "завальцевать", which is ...
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1answer
2k views

Appropriate response to: Would it be suitable to meet tomorrow noon at your office?

Can I respond to: "Would it be suitable to meet tomorrow noon at your office?" with: "Sure would!"
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1answer
1k views

Saying “You'll feel me on this”

So, recently, I saw someone commenting, "You'll feel me on this" on a certain post. Since I'm not really familiar with phrases that are more informal (even regarded as slang) in English, I wanted to ...
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1answer
40 views

is this something we can write or just say

Is the sentence below run on or is it something we say to each other Isn't "Have a great morning/night" a run-on sentence? or can I say "you have a great morning/night"? Or is that just a sentence we ...
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1answer
268 views

'Sick leave' and 'ill versus sick'

We want to use the terms ill and illness in our software instead of sick (see also Is there any difference between being ill and sick?), but I'm having difficulty finding a proper replacement for the ...
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3answers
6k 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 ...
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2answers
4k views

how do you say: i was doing many things at the same time

I work with people that speaks in English (my native language is Spanish). Yesterday i gave the wrong information to a coworker, so I wanted to apologize and explain that my mind was doing several ...
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1answer
842 views

Someone who has passed lots of difficulties in their lives

Please suppose someone who has had lots of difficulties in his life and has passed many problems so far. Someone who had been without money, food and even a home to live in for a long time and as the ...
3
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1answer
270 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 ...
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1answer
48 views

When someone owes money everyone

There is a sentence which says "He owes money left and right." which says has has borrowed money from almost everyone. I would appreciate it if someone could let me know if the following sentence ...
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2answers
38 views

When you've done an ambulatory surgery

I was wondering if someone could let me know which one of the following self-made sentences sounds more natural in the way that it could be more understood not only by well-educated people of English ...
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1answer
776 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
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1answer
350 views

Born with a weight of 5kg

Which of these would it make sense for me to say? My baby was born with a weight of 5kg My baby was born at 5kg My baby was born weighing 5kg Thank you.
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2answers
241 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 ...
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3answers
205 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 ...
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3answers
89 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 ...
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1answer
65 views

When you want to find out the reasons behind someone's reclusion

Imagine two friends who are talking about the reclusion that one of them is dealing with it. The one who is OK, wants to ask the other one what has caused him to live in that way during the couple of ...
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1answer
263 views

A phrase for witnessing something that happens every day

One wrote: We can see that many devices are being produced every day. The aim of this sentence is to address something that regularly happens these days, but I am looking for more formal and ...
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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2answers
420 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 ...
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6answers
12k 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 ...
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6answers
851 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
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1answer
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How to welcome somebody formally and friendly / informally? [closed]

Let's suppose you're going to welcome somebody; which one of the following sentences sound more natural in AE and what is the natural ones difference from the formality point of view? It is a ...
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2answers
1k views

Another adjective rather than good which is used to describe sleeping quality

I am trying to find an adjective to describe sleeping quality other than good, which is used to describe sleeping quality, the word will be used in biology report writing. so the following words ...
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0answers
374 views

Put/Place On Anbiotics

I have a question about the difference between verbs "put" and "place" in this context: The doctor put him on antibiotics. The doctor placed him on antibiotics. Any difference ...
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1answer
815 views

Is a “would” required in this sentence

Being a responsible man, arriving half an hour late would surely surprise his wife. But then he thought that it'd be funnier if he waited a couple of hours. Vs. Being a responsible man, he would ...
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1answer
172 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: ...
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2answers
13k 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 ...
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1answer
20 views

Is this the correct usage of the word cranial

My doubt is about using the word "cranial" here. Does this make sense? This is great. I am glad I was able to activate something cranial in you.
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2answers
7k views

Why is 'He is a man whom I look up to.' not quite right even though it is not wrong?

There is nothing grammatically wrong with 'He is a man whom I look up to.' The relative clause is non-defining, so no comma; the relative pronoun refers to a person, so 'who', not 'which'; the ...
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3answers
1k views

'a narrow vocabulary' versus 'a restricted vocabulary': do both collocations exist? which is commoner?

Do both collocations 'a narrow vocabulary' and 'a restricted vocabulary' exist? And if they do, which is commoner/more common?
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1answer
227 views

Does anyone know which of the following sentences is more used by native English speakers?

Which of the following sentences is more used by English native speakers verbally and in writing? Do you know where Susan works? Do you know, Where does Susan work?
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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 ...
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1answer
334 views

“Hear! Hear!”: AmE variations?

This is about the idiom "Hear(!)(,)Hear(!)" (1680s) used (ngram) to express approval during a speech for instance (AHDotEL, Collins, Cambridge, Century, Merriam Learners, Dictionary.com). It can be ...
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1answer
102 views

“Simple past” when talking about possibility

Could someone please explain why the bold part is in "simple past"? You asked where did I live in Carstairs. Well, it was not anyplace to be proud of. If you know where Vinegar Hill is and you ...
3
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3answers
447 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 ...
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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?
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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 "...
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
731 views

How formal is “and all that”?

How formal is it to say, e.g.,: You could do a lot with this item, like writing, drawing and all that. This may be an abbreviation of "and all that jazz", which means "and all that stuff; and all ...
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1answer
50 views

Learning “register”: are there any register-conflicts in this sentence

This text was written by coffee1054 in this question: We gonna show that there is no contradiction with Ohm's law. Is there any register-conflict in this sentence? Moved into the body of the ...
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1answer
446 views

Does “affirmative” mean “yes”

One hears people in the movies say "Affirmative" when they are speaking on a telephone or on a walkie-talkie. Does this word mean "yes"? Can it be used instead of "yes"?
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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?
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2answers
189 views

What is the register of “to be shamed”? [closed]

I was wondering in what conditions is it considered as correct to use "to be shamed" ? What is the register of this verb ?