a)To write an excellent essay or article,will you prefer/tend to use phrasal verb or verb ? Which one is better ?

For instance,

flare up vs irate

put out vs extinguish

pass out vs faint

look over vs check/examine

look after vs care

use up vs finish

at the wheel vs drive

and so on.They have the same meaning mutually,what the difference,one is phrasal verb,the another is verb.

In your view,which one is better and more suitable/formal in English writing,phrasal verb or verb ?

1)He still remains unknown completely about how the plan will be going.

or He is still in the dark completely about how the plan will be going.

2)They have shown great courage in the face of danger.

or They have shown great courage when confronting danger.



3)Three children ran away from home and has been missing for one week.

or Three children escape from home and has been missing for one week.

4)My mother gave the the green light to me to buy a new handphone.

or My mother allowed me to buy a new handphone.

b)To write an excellent essay or article,will you prefer to use phrasal verb or adverb ? Which one is better ?

For instance,

In the end vs finally

In the extreme vs extremely

on every side vs everywhere

on no account/on no condition vs never

on occasion vs often

1)He is in the least afraid of darkness.

or He is hardly afraid of darkness.

2)He is doing his homework in the clouds

or he is doing his homework absent-mindedly.

Each pair of mutual-compared sentences has the same meaning.However,one is phrasal-verb sentence,the another is verb.

In conclusion,which one is better in English writing when phrasal verb is compared to each with verb and adverb ?
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Franklin, please stop posting in technicolor. It has no advantage, and it just makes my job more difficult.

a)To write an excellent essay or article,will you prefer/tend to use phrasal verb or verb ? Which one is better ?-- Avoid the informal phrasals in formal writing.

1) He still remains completely unaware of how the plan is proceeding.

2) They have shown great courage in the face of danger.

3) Three children ran away from home and have been missing for one week.

4) My mother told me I could buy a new handphone.

In the end vs finally

In the extreme vs extremely

on every side vs everywhere

on no account/on no condition vs never

on occasion vs often-- These are all equally standard English.

1) He is not in the least afraid of darkness.

2) He is doing his homework absent-mindedly.
If so,I apologise to you truly,I really did not realised that the post in technicolour,I thought it could make the difference clearer and more attractive and differentiable,but why would it make you more difficult ?

Mister Micawber Avoid the informal phrasals in formal writing.
What informal phrasal verbs are? I cannot differentiate the informal ones from all phrasal verbs.Could you explain in detailed ?

Mister MicawberIn the end vs finally

In the extreme vs extremely

on every side vs everywhere

on no account/on no condition vs never

on occasion vs often-- These are all equally standard English.
I know they are the same in meaning,but in my view,writing a good article or composition that we should not/avoid using the vocabulary which is used usually in everyday conversation.

For example

The sentence in conversation :

1)The thief ran away when he saw the police coming forward him.

2)She couldn't help crying when she heard the news.

While the sentence in writing:

1)The thief broke into a run when he caught sight of the police coming forward him.

2)She broke down and fell into a heavy weep when she heard the news.

We describe a sentence in writing,in this case,using some vocabulary which are better than that of which we use daily.So that's why I asked that phrasal verb or verb is better in writing a good composition ?

For instance,

Mister Micawber He is not in the least afraid of darkness


You choose 'in the least' instead of 'hardly',that means 'in the least' is better and more suitable in writing,and because we normally use ‘hardly’.

What do you think ?
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I thought it could make the difference clearer and more attractive and differentiable, but why would it make you more difficult?--We are not decorative artists here. I am not looking for 'attractive'. I am looking for simple, easy-to-read black text of what you want examined. Leave the highlighting to your teachers and those who correct your text.

What informal phrasal verbs are? I cannot differentiate the informal ones from all phrasal verbs.Could you explain in detailed ?-- All phrasal verbs are by definition informal. Most have formal equivalents: put out vs extinguish, etc.

I know they are the same in meaning,but in my view,writing a good article or composition that we should not/avoid using the vocabulary which is used usually in everyday conversation-- You have a very rudimentary concept of the register of English phrases. Your written examples are of the same register as your conversation examples (and they are ungrammatical as well):

1) The thief ran away when he saw the police coming toward him.-- 'Run away' and 'come toward' are not phrasal verbs and are standard register.

2) She couldn't help crying when she heard the news. -- 'Help doing' is not a phrasal verb; it is standard register causative verb.

1)The thief broke into a run when he caught sight of the police coming toward him.-- 'Break into a run' is a slang phrasal verb.

2)She broke down and fell to weeping heavily when she heard the news.-- 'Broke down' is an informal phrasal verb.

You choose 'in the least' instead of 'hardly',that means 'in the least' is better and more suitable in writing,and because we normally use ‘hardly’.-- No, I chose 'in the least' because 'hardly' is incorrect in your sentence. (Actually, I thought the sentence read 'not in the least', so 'in the least is incorrect also.)
You already have a lot of advice on this topic. However I will make a few comments.

Some of your terms are colloquial phrases which are less acceptable in a formal essay. For example, "at the wheel" and "in the clouds."

Other verb phrases are more conversational but not wrong. For example, "flare up" and "pass out." You do not have to use the biggest word you know in order for the essay to be good. Use instead the exact words that express what you want to say. Sometimes word choice is simply a preference. For example "in the end" and "finally" are equally good choices.

I hope this helps.
Mister MicawberAll phrasal verbs are by definition informal. Most have formal equivalents: put out vs extinguish, etc.
It means most phrasal verbs are informal but there are still a lot of phrasal verbs are formal in writing and equal to the verbs which have the same meaning.

For example,

In the end = finally

In the extreme = extremely

on every side = everywhere,etc.

look after = care

(They are equal and formal in writing)

The price of petroleum is going up/raising up/increasing.

go up and raise up are informal phrase,thus,increase is more appropriate in writing.

Am I right ?

Mister Micawber1) The thief ran away when he saw the police coming toward him.-- 'Run away' and 'come toward' are not phrasal verbs and are standard register.

2) She couldn't help crying when she heard the news. -- 'Help doing' is not a phrasal verb; it is standard register causative verb.

I know that ‘run away’ and ‘come toward’ are not phrase,but actually,what I would like to express was we should use the vocabulary which is better and more formal in writing,keep away from using conversational verbs.

For example as I have shown that I used the phrasal verb ‘catch sight of’ to replace the verb ‘see’ in writing.

As for the phrases ‘break down’ and ‘break into’,I indeed didn’t know they are informal and slang.My dictionary does not mention whether the phrase is informal or a slang,so I've no idea how to avoid using informal and slang phrases in writing.

Mister Micawber You have a very rudimentary concept of the register of English phrases.
Yeah,maybe I have.As I thought always that all phrases were better than verbs/adverbs,I have realised I was wrong with the view.I guess,nevertheless,there are still not a few formal phrasal verbs better than verb/adverb in writing.

For example,

Look into,find out and come up with

These are informal phrases,and we should avoid using them in writing.Instead,replacing with investigate,discover and establish.

While,

1) I jumped of my skin/was shocked when I saw a figure floating across me.

2) He is on the verge of/almost in his eighty.

I think the phrases shown above is more appropriate/better in writing.

What do you think ?

If I am wrong,please forgive my shallowness for English register because I am a beginner in English writing so far.
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Doctor D Some of your terms are colloquial phrases which are less acceptable in a formal essay. For example, "at the wheel" and "in the clouds."
I have no idea exactly that how to learn whether a phrase is formal.

As for at the wheel,I didn't know it is informal. I picked it out of the essay of which my tutor said it was a grade A in SPM(The final examination of Form 5 student in Malaysia).

The original thread is:

(....We were so relaxed,without a worry in the word.I was at the wheel and unknowingly,tailgating a truck in front of us.....)

Hence,at the wheel is not good in formal writing ?
It means most phrasal verbs are informal but there are still a lot of phrasal verbs are formal in writing and equal to the verbs which have the same meaning.-- Yes, many are.

In the end = finally

In the extreme = extremely

on every side = everywhere,etc.-- These are not phrasal verbs; they are not even verbs!

look after = care

(They are equal and formal in writing-- No, they are not. 'Care for' is more formal than 'look after')

The price of petroleum is going up/rising/increasing. go up and rise are informal phrase, thus,increase is more appropriate in writing. Am I right ?- No. 'Rise' is just as formal as 'increase'.

I know that ‘run away’ and ‘come toward’ are not phrase,but actually,what I would like to express was we should use the vocabulary which is better and more formal in writing,keep away from using conversational verbs.-- Only if they are casual; most of our English vocabulary is used in both written and spoken English.

For example as I have shown that I used the phrasal verb ‘catch sight of’ to replace the verb ‘see’ in writing.-- No. They have different meanings. 'Catch sight of' is not informal.

As for the phrases ‘break down’ and ‘break into’,I indeed didn’t know they are informal and slang.My dictionary does not mention whether the phrase is informal or a slang,so I've no idea how to avoid using informal and slang phrases in writing.-- Yes, that is evident.

As I thought always that all phrases were better than verbs/adverbs,I have realised I was wrong with the view.I guess,nevertheless,there are still not a few formal phrasal verbs better than verb/adverb in writing. For example, Look into,find out and come up with. These are informal phrases,and we should avoid using them in writing.Instead,replacing with investigate,discover and establish.-- Probably.

1) I jumped of my skin/was shocked when I saw a figure floating across me.

2) He is on the verge of/almost in his eighties.

I think the phrases shown above is more appropriate/better in writing.- The only informal one is 'jump out of one's skin'.

I have no idea exactly that how to learn whether a phrase is formal.-- Extensive reading is a good solution.

The original thread is: (..We were so relaxed,without a worry in the word.I was at the wheel and unknowingly,tailgating a truck in front of us..) Hence,at the wheel is not good in formal writing ?-- Your quote is not formal writing. All writing is not formal writing. The text is an informal narrative. 'Without a worry in the world', 'at the wheel', and 'tailgating' are all informal phrases.
"At the wheel" is a colloquial expression for "driving." A good dictionary sometimes will highlight this for you. (A term you can't find in the dictionary is suspect. It is probably informal or slang.)

Conversational language is not all bad. I would use it in a general essay unless I was told to use a more formal style.
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