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    #1

    Phrasal Verbs vs Verbs

    Hi,

    Are the phrasal verbs more acceptable than their one-word equivalents in formal writing?

    Thanks
    Last edited by joeoct; 20-Jul-2011 at 03:49.

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    #2

    Re: Phrasal Verbs vs Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by joeoct View Post
    Hi,

    Are the phrasal verbs more acceptable than their one-word equivalents in formal writing?

    Thanks,
    Joe
    Not a Teacher

    In my view, your question does not make entire sense, since both kinds are used in formal writing. Maybe if you were to give some examples the question would make complete sense.

    M.

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    #3

    Re: Phrasal Verbs vs Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mannysteps View Post
    Not a Teacher

    In my view, your question does not make entire sense, since both kinds are used in formal writing. Maybe if you were to give some examples the question would make complete sense.

    M.
    Ok, here they are:

    call off - cancel
    find out - discover
    hold up - delay
    leave out - omit
    pick out - choose
    put off - postpone
    talk over - discuss
    try out - test
    look into - investigate
    go over - review
    go on - continue

    What is more natural when writing a formal letter - to use the phrasal verbs on the left, or their equivalents on the right? (or simply it can't be generalised - it depends on the sense of a sentence)

    Thanks,
    Joe

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    #4

    Re: Phrasal Verbs vs Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by joeoct View Post
    Ok, here they are:

    call off - cancel
    find out - discover
    hold up - delay
    leave out - omit
    pick out - choose
    put off - postpone
    talk over - discuss
    try out - test
    look into - investigate
    go over - review
    go on - continue

    What is more natural when writing a formal letter - to use the phrasal verbs on the left, or their equivalents on the right? (or simply it can't be generalised - it depends on the sense of a sentence)

    Thanks,
    Joe
    As always, context is everything. It depends on the tone of the sentence, the person you're writing to (formally or otherwise). My personal feeling is that both the verbs and the phrasal verbs would be equally acceptable in any piece of writing.

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    #5

    Re: Phrasal Verbs vs Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    As always, context is everything. It depends on the tone of the sentence, the person you're writing to (formally or otherwise). My personal feeling is that both the verbs and the phrasal verbs would be equally acceptable in any piece of writing.
    If there is an individual case when I don't know clearly whether to use phrasal verb, I will ask you on UsingEnglish.
    Last edited by joeoct; 18-Jun-2011 at 18:47.

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    #6

    Re: Phrasal Verbs vs Verbs

    And there are many examples of formal English on the Internet. Why not look through a few to see whether phrasal verbs are used?
    Last edited by Mar Rojo; 18-Jun-2011 at 19:25.

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    #7

    Re: Phrasal Verbs vs Verbs

    My immediate reaction is that all of the one-word subsitutes are "fancier" words than the phrasal verbs.

    That doesn't make the phrasal verbs unsuitable, but if you think that "fancier" = "formal" and you want formal, then I would suggest you use the words on the right.

    However, I'm not a fan of fancier. I'm fine with finding something out and don't need to discover it.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: Phrasal Verbs vs Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post

    However, I'm not a fan of fancier. I'm fine with finding something out and don't need to discover it.
    Though it is interesting that the latinate verb, "discover", is much more common in academic papers than "find out".

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    #9

    Re: Phrasal Verbs vs Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mar Rojo View Post
    Though it is interesting that the latinate verb, "discover", is much more common in academic papers than "find out".
    This is perhaps the case, but I can't imagine using "discover" if I want to find out the starting time of a film, whether a hotel accepts pets, or if my video rental-store has received a recently released DVD.

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    #10

    Re: Phrasal Verbs vs Verbs

    but I can't imagine using "discover" if I want to find out the starting time of a film, whether a hotel accepts pets, or if my video rental-store has received a recently released DVD.
    And no one suggested you should, so what is the point you are trying to make?

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