31 Answered Questions for the topic formality

07/29/19

In back of'' vs. back of" vs. the spatial sense of "behind" in AmE?

What's the difference to these expressions, as in "The little girl was hiding in back of the tree" vs. "The little girl was hiding back of the tree" vs. "The little girl was hiding behind the... more

06/29/19

you wouldn't know it to see it vs "you wouldn't recognize it to see it"?

Is it more correct to say, "you wouldn't know it to see it" or "you wouldn't recognize it to see"? I have tried looking both up on google, and only the first return's actual usage. Also, the... more

06/25/19

Usage of "ain't" in formal conversation?

Is it okay to use *ain't* in formal conversation? I know *ain't* can be used for *am not, is not, are not, have not, has not.* So if I can use it in day-to-day life, it will be easier for me I guess. more

06/25/19

When should we say 'Thanks' and when, 'Thank you'?

While I'm communicating with my colleagues and clients, I used to say 'Thanks' and 'Thank you'. I normally use 'Thank you' when I want to express it to a single person usually through e-mails,... more

06/19/19

Talking to someone is nice. or "It is nice to talk to someone." but "It was nice, talking to you." Why?

General statement: a. Talking to someone is nice. (verb as subject in front position = gerund) or b. It is nice to talk to someone. (verb as subject after dummy subject 'it' = full... more

06/19/19

When should we say 'Thanks' and when, 'Thank you'?

While I'm communicating with my colleagues and clients, I used to say 'Thanks' and 'Thank you'. I normally use 'Thank you' when I want to express it to a single person usually through e-mails,... more

06/18/19

Is the em dash used in formal writing?

Is it valid to use em dashes in formal writing? My teacher said it's informal to use em dashes under any circumstances, so I just wanted to make sure. I've gone through several related questions in... more

06/02/19

Can I vs "May I"?

You may have heard the argument "it's not **can** I go to the bathroom, it's **may** I." If this is true, then any question such as *"can you get me a glass of water?"* could have the same... more

04/27/19

What are sentences like "the longer X, the more Y" called and can they be used in formal written English?

What is the type of sentence exemplified below called? Is it appropriate to use it in a scientific paper and formal written English in general? >**1.** The more pronounced the variation,... more

04/27/19

Spelling checker or "spell checker"?

I've always thought a _spelling checker_ is a tool that checks spelling. I know a growing number of people say _spell checker_, but I've always considered that slang. Recently I did a search for... more

04/27/19

Is "setup" an acceptable noun in formal writing?

I'm editing a draft of a scientific paper which repeatedly uses the word "setup" to refer to the, well, experimental setup. Example: > The dimensions of the setup are 250 mm ∗ 250 mm ∗ 50... more

04/26/19

I have strived vs "I have striven"?

In a college application essay, I am trying to write the sentence along the lines of: > I have always **strived** to achieve my goals. Should I say *strived* or *striven*? According to [this... more

04/23/19

A source for learning how to speak or write formaly?

and thanks for helping me. I would like to know if there is a source so I can learn how to speak and write formally, mostly for these topics: -Sending a formal email to anyone or an organization... more

04/23/19

Difference between singular and plural formal form of address?

When using the formal address, both you (sing.) and you (pl.) get translated to Sie, when in nominative case, of course. This question is more general. Are there any hints in the language (e.g.... more

04/23/19

When to use mid-sentence commas when adding a formal name?

Where is it appropriate to insert a comma when putting a persons name in the middle of a sentence, such as when writing an email or letter. Is it really before AND after? Examples: > *Thank... more

03/30/19

Gentle alternative for "abused the crap out of something"?

I really like the saying "abused the crap out of....." because it feels strong. Recently I am asked to prepare a speech and I don't think it's appropriate to use the saying. Are there any formal... more

03/30/19

What do you call the process of formally addressing someone by using honorifics?

My native language is Macedonian, and in my language, we have a special term that describes the process of formally addressing someone. The idea is that you treat that person in plural instead of... more

03/28/19

Why do some questions not start with an auxiliary verb?

When I learned English, my teachers told me that all questions **must** have an auxiliary verb at the beginning, just like *Are you mad?* or *Is she playing?* do. But when watching some movies or... more

03/24/19

What is the formal way to say “a bit”?

What is the formal way to say *a bit* in an essay, for example, in the sentence beginning “It is **a bit** different from”? Is *a little* formal enough?

03/22/19

When to use mid-sentence commas when adding a formal name?

Where is it appropriate to insert a comma when putting a persons name in the middle of a sentence, such as when writing an email or letter. Is it really before AND after? Examples: "Thank you for... more

03/22/19

So long as vs. "as long as"?

Which phrase is more formal — "so long as" or "as long as"?Example:> - So long as Google Voice allows free long distance in North America, I will use it.- As long as Google Voice allows free... more

03/22/19

Is using "and/or" recommended for formal writing, or is it frowned upon?

Is using "and/or" allowed in formal writing? If not, is there general way to represent the OR binary operator with as little space as possible in written English?

03/21/19

On the usage of "etcetera"?

In Spanish, we use the word _etcétera_ at the end of an enumeration to imply there are more things to mention, which may (or not) be important, but they will be omitted. Thus, I was fairly... more

03/21/19

What is the formal way to say “a bit”?

What is the formal way to say *a bit* in an essay, for example, in the sentence beginning “It is 'a bit' different from”? Is "a little" formal enough?

03/20/19

When to use mid-sentence commas when adding a formal name?

Where is it appropriate to insert a comma when putting a persons name in the middle of a sentence, such as when writing an email or letter. Is it really before AND after?
1

Still looking for help? Get the right answer, fast.

Ask a question for free

Get a free answer to a quick problem.
Most questions answered within 4 hours.

OR

Find an Online Tutor Now

Choose an expert and meet online. No packages or subscriptions, pay only for the time you need.