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Miscellaneous

25 Rare Formal Versions of Common English Nouns

In the English language, there are many instances in which words that are similar in meaning differ in how formal they sound.

To illustrate this point, you wouldn’t call your pet golden retriever an associate because that word has a professional tone to it.

However, it is quite common to refer to dogs as friends or companions. We even have a popular phrase to describe dogs—man’s best friend.

In the table below, there are 25 more examples of these informal/formal word pairs.

Original NounFormal Version
BooksLiterature
Brother/SisterSibling
BugInsect
CarVehicle
CatFeline
ClothingAttire
CookChef
CopPolice officer
CustomerClient
DoctorPhysician
DogCanine
DriverMotorist
FoodCuisine
Husband/WifeSpouse
KidChild
LawyerAttorney
MoneyFunds
MovieFilm/Motion picture
PersonIndividual
QuestionInquiry
ShoesFootwear
SingerVocalist
TeacherEducator
ThingItem
WorkerEmployee

Did you know how to use these punctuation marks?

Test your skills: write your sentence and send it to our editors for a review. Start for free!

Conclusions

You can use this list to match your word choices to the desired tone of your text. Writing an academic report? Use the right column. Sending a text message to a close friend? Choose words from the left.

And now that you’ve made it to the end of the article, do any other good examples come to mind? Feel free to share them down in the comments section!

Lastly, be sure to check back next week for another TextRanch English lesson!

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2 Replies to 25 Rare Formal Versions of Common English Nouns

  1. This has been really useful. I usually use this lesson in Academic Writing; formal vs informal words

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