"Answer" "Answer", "reply", "respond": What is the difference amongst these verbs? Which of them is the most formal one? I presume "respond" is the most one, am I right?
Aug 26, 2018 10:43 AM
Answers · 4
Reply and respond are both formal and both have the same meaning, for example you can write "I look forward to your reply/response" at the end of a work email. I think reply is more common. Answer is a bit different, its more casual and it's usually only used when replying to a question. When using reply/respond there doesn't need to be a question beforehand.
August 26, 2018
When a question is asked, ANY word or action in return is an "answer". However, an answer in the form of a statement is a "reply". That is why people use "reply" more when writing. For example, businesses make written "replies" to questions from customers. Technically, a "response" is the REACTION to a stimulus such as an urgent question or an appeal. For example, you would "respond" to a cry for help or "respond" to criticism. Hope this helps
August 26, 2018
You can look at the word history (ie. etymology) to get an idea of the formality of these verbs. Most words that come to English from Latin are formal. For grammar, you need a preposition after reply and respond. reply to [something] respond to [something] BUT answer [something]
August 26, 2018
English is not too sensitive with the formality of the words - unlike japanese. So any of those three words you stated can be used in formal or informal setting. Formality is expressed on how you address if a person is involved in a statement as a noun. So one may say; "Mr. Obama replied to me"; or "Mr. Obama answered..."; or "Mr. Obama responded..." - and still be formal in their statement.
August 26, 2018
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