Are the phrasal verbs more acceptable than their one-word equivalents in formal writing?
Last edited by joeoct; 20-Jul-2011 at 02:49.
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)
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 18:25.
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.
And no one suggested you should, so what is the point you are trying to make?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.