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24 Answered Questions for the topic formality

Formality Grammar Usage

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
Formality Esl/esol Speech

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
Formality Esl/esol Speech

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
Formality Writing Esl/esol

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
Formality Esl/esol Speech

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
Formality Esl/esol Speech

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
Formality Writing Terminology

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
Formality Writing Nouns

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
Formality Grammar German

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
Formality Grammar Writing

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
Formality Esl/esol Speech

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
Formality Esl/esol Speech

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
Formality Esl/esol Speech

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
Formality Writing Esl/esol

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?
Formality Grammar Writing

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
Formality English Writing

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?
Formality English Word Usage

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
Formality English Grammar

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?
Formality Esl/esol Speech

03/18/19

which group I belong to vs to which group I belong?

1. I don't know which group I belong to. 2. I don't know to which group I belong. Which one of the sentences is true? --- Note: An answer was given to this question when it still read "I... more
Formality Writing Speech

03/18/19

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?
Formality English Conjunctions

03/16/19

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
Formality Esl/esol Speech

03/15/19

first time as an adverb meaning "for the first time"?

Can **first time** be used as an adverb meaning "for the first time", e.g. *when I met him first time* (Confession Tapes, third episode, 02:40)
Formality English Writing

03/15/19

Avoiding stuffy language: "Therefore", "Thus"?

In my thesis, I'm using "thus" and "therefore" a lot. This is repetitive and it sounds stuffy. Is there any alternative which sounds a bit more relaxed but is acceptable in scientific writing? "So"... more
Formality English Conversation

03/14/19

How often do people say "gotta", "wanna" or "gonna" in English speaking countries?

I learned these three words from *Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner's English Dictionary*. > * got|ta /g'ɒtə/ > Gotta is used in written English to represent the words 'got to' when they are... more

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