Simple Words vs Formal Words, Which One to Use? [English Vocabulary] 1

Simple Words vs Formal Words, Which One to Use? [English Vocabulary]

Simple words vs formal words, which one to use?

Simple Words vs Formal Words

Do you sometimes find it difficult to choose easy words in your writing or speaking?

Do you want to write or speak in a way that easily understood by the target audience?

Do you want to communicate in a clear and straightforward way?

And in some instances, do you have trouble in choosing a more lengthy and formal word in a standard & formal writing?

So this lesson is for you. The list below contains simple words, phrases and the more lengthy, formal words for which they are recommended as replacements in standard writing.  

To whom it may concern, simple English is known as “Plain English” which is a generic term for communication in English that emphasizes clarity, brevity, and the avoidance of technical language—particularly in relation to official government or business communication. It uses simple, familiar words instead of lengthy, formal words, avoids jargon.

List of Simple Words vs Formal Words

 (The lengthy word is listed first; the simple English alternative follows)
No Lengthy, Formal words Simple Words
How to Use? Usually used in standard

and formal writing or speech

Often used in speaking or   business writing
1 abundance  Enough, plenty, (or specific amount)
2 accede to  Allow, agree to
3 accelerate  Speed up
4 accentuate  Stress
5 accommodation  Room
6 accompany  Go with, with
7 accomplish  Do
8 accorded  Given
9 accordingly  Thus, so
10 accrue  Add, gain
11 accurate  Right
12 acquiesce  Agree
13 acquire  Get
14 additional  Extra
15 address  Discuss
16 addressees  You
17 adjacent to  Next to
18 adjustment  Change, alteration
19 admissible  Allowed, accepted
20 advantageous  Helpful
21 adversely impact on  Hurt, set back
22 advise  Tell
23 afford an opportunity  Allow, let
24 aggregate  Total
25 alleviate  Ease, reduce
26 allocate  Divide
27 along the lines of  Like, as in
28 alternatively  Or
29 ameliorate  Improve, help
30 an absence of  No, none
31 and particularly  Particularly
32 and/or  Use either “and” or “or.”
33 anticipate  Expect
34 a number of  Some
35 applicant  You
36 application  Use
37 apparent  Clear, plain
38 apprehend  Arrest
39 appreciable  Many
40 appropriate  Proper, right
41 approximate  About
42 arrive onboard  Arrive
43 as a means of  To
44 ascertain  Find out, learn
45 as per our telephone conversation of this date  As we discussed this afternoon
46 as prescribed by  In, under
47 as far as … is concerned  (Omit)
48 as to Of, on, with, for, to, by, in, into
49 as yet, as of yet  Yet
50 assist, assistance  Help
51 at its discretion  Can, may
52 attain  Meet
53 attempt  Try
54 at the present time, at this time, at this point in time, at the moment  Now
55 attributable to  Because
56 at your earliest convenience  As soon as you can
57 authorize  Allow, let
58 basis, on a  (omit)
59 be advised  (omit)
60 because of the fact that  because, since
61 beg  ask
62 belated  late
63 beneficial  helpful, useful
64 bestow  give, award
65 by means of  by, with
66 by reason of  because
67 by virtue of  by, under
68 beverage  drink
69 capability  ability
70 case of, in the  (omit)
71 caveat  warning
72 cease  stop
73 chauffeur  driver
74 clearly, obviously  (omit)
75 close proximity  near
76 combat environment  combat
77 combined  joint
78 commence  Begin or start
79 completely revoke  revoke
80 comply with  follow
81 complete  fill in
82 comprise  form
83 conceal  hide
84 concerning  about, on
85 consensus, of opinion, consensus, general  consensus
86 consequently  so
87 consolidate  join, merge
88 constitutes  is, forms, makes up
89 contains  has
90 convene  meet
91 corridor  hall
92 currently  (omit), now
93 deem  believe, think
94 delete  cut, drop
95 demonstrate  prove, show
96 depart  leave, go
97 designate  choose, name
98 desire  want, wish
99 despite the fact that  although
100 determine  decide, figure, find
101 disclose  show
102 discontinue  drop, stop
103 disseminate  give, issue, pass, send
104 does not have  lacks
105 does not include  excludes, omits
106 due to the fact that  because, since
107 during the period, during the time that  during, while
108 each and every  (omit)
109 early beginnings  beginnings, early days
110 each…apiece  each
111 economical  cheap
112 effect modifications  make changes
113 elect  chose, pick
114 eliminate  cut, drop, end
115 elucidate  explain
116 emphasize  stress
117 employ  use
118 enclosed please find  I have enclosed
119 encounter  meet
120 endeavor  try
121 enquiry  question
122 ensure  make sure
123 entitlement  right
124 enumerate  count
125 equally as  equally
126 equipments  equipment
127 equitable  fair
128 equivalent  equal
129 establish  set up, prove, show
130 evaluate  test, check
131 evidenced  showed
132 evident  (omit), clear
133 evince  show, prove
134 excluding  except
135 exclusively  only
136 exhibit  show
137 expedite  hurry
138 expeditious  fast, quick
139 expend  spend
140 expertise  ability
141 expiration  end
142 facilitate  ease, help
143 feasible  workable
144 females  women
145 finalize  complete, finish
146 first(ly), second(ly), third(ly)  first, second, third
147 first and foremost  first
148 following  after
149 for a period of  for
150 for example,______etc.  for example, such as
151 forfeit  lose, give up
152 formulate  plan
153 for the purpose of,  to
154 for the reason that,  to
155 forward  send
156 frequently  often
157 function  act, role, work
158 furnish  give, send
159 has a duty to  must
160 has a requirement for  needs
161 herein, heretofore, herewith, thereof, wherefore, wherein omit
162 honest truth  truth
163 however  but, yet
164 identical  same
165 if and when  use either word; not both
166 immediately  at once
167 impacted  affected,changed
168 implement  carry out, start
169 in accordance with  by, under
170 in addition  also, besides, too
171 in all likelihood  probably
172 in an effort to  to
173 inasmuch  since
174 in a timely manner  on time, promptly
175 in between  between
176 inception  start
177 in connection with  with, about
178 incumbent upon  must
179 indicate  say, state, or show
180 indication  sign
181 individual  person
182 in excess of  more than
183 in favor of  for
184 initial  first
185 initiate  start
186 in lieu of  instead
187 in light of the fact that  because
188 in many cases  often
189 in order that  for, so
190 in order to  to
191 inquire  person
192 in regard(s) to  about, concerning, on
193 in relation to  about, with, to
194 in some instances  sometimes
195 inside of  inside
196 institute legal proceedings against, bring action against  sue
197 inter alia  (omit)or use “among others”
198 interface  meet, work with
199 interpose no objection  don’t object
200 in the amount of  for
201 in the case of  when
202 in the event of  if
203 in the majority of instances  usually
204 in the nature of  like
205 in the near future  shortly, soon
206 in the process of  (omit)
207 in view of  since
208 in view of the above  so
209 irregardless  regardless
210 is applicable to  applies to
211 is authorized to  may
212 is in consonance with  agrees with, follows
213 is responsible for  (omit) handles
214 it appears  seems
215 it is  (omit)
216 it is essential  must, need to
217 it is requested  please, we request, I request
218 it is important to add that, in this regard it is of significance that, it may be recalled that, it is interesting to point out that  (omit)
219 liaison  discussion
220 last will and testament  will
221 magnitude  size
222 maintain  keep, support
223 majority  most (except for voting)
224 make a mockery of  (omit)
225 make an attempt, make an effort  try
226 make reference to  refer
227 maximum  greatest, largest, most
228 mental attitude  attitude
229 merge together  merge
230 methodology  method
231 minimize  decrease
232 minimum  least, smallest
233 modify  change
234 monitor  check, watch
235 month + of + year  March 2013
236 moreover  what’s more
237 multiple  many
238 nature, of a  (omit)
239 necessitate  cause, need
240 nevertheless  still, besides, even so
241 notify  let know, tell
242 not able  unable
243 not accept  reject
244 not certain  uncertain
245 not unlike  similar, alike
246 not many  few
247 not often  seldom, rarely
248 not the same  different
249 not…unless, not…except  only if
250 not…until  only when
251 not later than 10 May  by 10 May, before 11 May
252 notwithstanding  in spite of, still
253 now comes  (omit)
254 null and void  use either “null” or “void”
255 numerous  many
256 objective  aim, goal
257 obligate  bind, compel
258 observe  see on a _________basis (omit)
259 obtain  get
260 off of  off
261 on request  if you ask
262 on the basis of  by, from
263 on the contrary  but, so
264 on the grounds that  (omit)
265 on the other hand  (omit); but, so
266 on the part of  by
267 operate  run, use, work
268 optimum  best, greatest, most
269 option  choice, way
270 orientate  orient
271 outside of  outside
272 oversight [v]  oversee
273 owing to the fact that  because, since
274 parameters  limits (except in mathematical and computer-programming uses)
275 participate  take part
276 particulars  details
277 pass away  die
278 per annum  a year
279 perchance  perhaps
280 perform  do
281 permit  let
282 pertaining to  about, of, on
283 perspire  sweat
284 peruse  read
285 PIN number  PIN
286 place  put
287 portion  part
288 possess  have, own
289 point in time, particular point in time  time, point, now, moment
290 potentiality  potential
291 practicable  practical
292 preclude  prevent
293 preowned  used
294 preliminary to, previous to, previously, prior   to  before
295 preparatory to  to prepare for
296 prioritize  rank; set or make priorities
297 proceed  do, go ahead, try
298 procure  (omit)
299 proficiency  skill
300 promulgate  issue, publish
301 provide  give, offer, say
302 provided that  if
303 provide guidance for  guide
304 purchase  buy
305 pursuant to  by, following, per, under; in response to, in carrying out, as required by
306 question as to whether, question of whether  question whether
307 quite puzzling  baffling
308 reason … is because  because
309 refer back  refer
310 reflect  say, show
311 regard as being  regard as
312 regarding  about, of, on
313 relative to  about, on
314 relocate  move
315 remain  stay
316 remainder  rest
317 remuneration  pay, payment
318 render  give, make
319 represents  is
320 request  ask
321 require  must, need
322 requirement  need, rule
323 reside, residence  live, house
324 respectively  (omit)
325 retain  keep
326 retire  go to bed
327 said, some, such, same  the, this, that
328 selection  choice
329 set forth in  in
330 shall  must
331 should you wish  if you want
332 similar to  like
333 solicit  ask for, request
334 state-of-the-art  latest
335 strategize  plan
336 subject  the, this, your
337 submit  give, send
338 substantial  large, much
339 successfully complete  complete, pass
340 sufficient  enough
341 take action to  (omit)
342 terminate  end, stop
343 than was formerly the case  now
344 the month of  (omit)
345 there are  (omit)
346 therefore  thus, so
347 therein  there
348 there is  (omit)
349 the undersigned  I
350 the use of  (omit)
351 this activity, command  us, we
352 timely  prompt
353 time period  (either one)
354 to be violative of  violate
355 took advantage of  preyed
356 to wit  (omit)
357 transmit  send
358 type  (omit)
359 under the provisions of  under
360 until such time as  until
361 utilize, utilization  use
362 validate  confirm
363 variation  change[95]
364 various different  “various” or “different”
365 very  (omit)
366 very angry  enraged
367 viable  practical, workable
368 warrant  call for, permit
369 we are in receipt of  we’ve received
370 whereas  because, since
371 whether or not  whether
372 whosoever, whomsoever  whoever, whomever
373 with a view to  by, from
374 with reference to, with regard to  about
375 with respect to  on, about
376 with the exception of  except for
377 with the minimum of delay  quickly (or say when)
378 witnessed  saw
379 you are requested  please
380 your attention is drawn  please see, please note
381 your office  you
382 / (slash)  and, or