“Like” and “such as” are staples in informal writing. They work well to explain the points we previously raised or give examples. However, formally, they aren’t very useful to us. This article will look at better alternatives to “like” and “such as” for formal writing.
What Can I Say Instead Of “Like” And “Such As” In Formal Writing?
To help you sound more professional with your writing, you’ll benefit from learning some alternatives. We recommend some of the following:
- For example
- For instance
- As an example
- Such as
The preferred version is “for example.” It works well formally because it allows us to create a list of examples after it. It’s also well-regarded in many formal writing circles, which is why we recommend it in many cases where “like” and “such as” may fail.
“For example” is the best way to create a list or help to elaborate a point for someone. This can make it easier for your readers to understand what you’re talking about, as they might be a little more familiar with one of the provided examples.
We might also be able to abbreviation the phrase “for example” to “e.g.” However, this isn’t always done, and we’ll touch more on that a little later on.
Here are a few examples to help you:
- The men in this business (for example, the ones hired out of spite) seem to know nothing about what happens around here.
- For example, the USA and China do not have the same resources available to them as the other listed countries.
- For example, men and women have always been treated with inequality, and it’s time to start looking into why.
“For instance” works well when we want to share a brief list of things relating to our point. Sometimes, this list can be only one item long, while others might be a few more. The length depends mainly on what you want to get from the list’s inclusion.
Check out some of these examples to see how we might make it work:
- My findings from this experiment, for instance, the fact that snow does not set on temperatures more than 5 degrees, were staggering.
- The things we did wrong in this way, for instance, the mistakes early in the experiment, ruined the overall conclusion.
- For instance, it can be all too easy for someone to think they know more than you without needing to verify any information.
“Including” is a great way to set up a list of examples. We can start the list with “including” to show a brief overview of all the things that might be included. We typically do not include the full list, which is where an “etc.” might come in useful.
“Etc.” might be an abbreviation of the Latin phrase “et cetera,” but that doesn’t mean it’s not acceptable. Many formal writing pieces use Latin abbreviations to help keep their writing more streamlined and comprehensible for their readers.
- All of these countries, including Russia, Japan, China, etc., have had a difficult conflict going on for a while.
- We can fix these issues, including the ones we listed above, by being a little smarter about how we consume gases.
- Meat, including chicken, pork, beef, etc., is gathered in unethical ways, and I would like to share my findings as to why.
“With” is a simple and effective way of creating a list of things. We can use it to share examples of how certain things might interact. Typically, only one example is needed to be listed after “with” for us to get the best results out of it.
We usually include the thing we want to use as an example, followed by the phrase “as an example.” This combination of phrases helps us to indicate what we’re trying to teach the reader.
- With France as an example…
Here are a few more examples of how it can work:
- With the former revolution as an example, no good things come out of conflict.
- With the findings from my investigation to go off, we now know that there are a few different ways we can come to the same conclusion.
- With that as an example, I do not think it is wise for us to be so wasteful going forward.
As An Example
“As an example” works well when we want to share some examples of the previous sentence or clause. It’s a simple way to include them and is direct in what we are trying to explain. Many people like this method when trying to write professional sentences.
We do not always need to be this explicit in our writing. That’s why we included “as an example” lower down the list than “for example.” However, both options are fine to use. It mostly comes down to personal preference.
Check out a few of these examples to see how it works:
- As an example, the USA has had a hard time getting to grips with free healthcare, which puts them behind most European countries.
- As an example, we do not have to use fossil fuels to get by anymore, but they still make their owners lots of money.
- As an example, the global climate can be reversed as long as we act a little more cautiously with plastic waste.
“Thus” is an old-fashioned word that people use to create examples. It works well whenever we want to impress people in our writing. It originates from Shakespearian times, which is why so many people think its poshness helps their writing to be professional.
Check out some of these examples to see how it works:
- Thus, we do not know how to make fire the same way we used to. It seems to be a lost art.
- Thus, there were too many people for us to take in, which is why we had to remove our job listing.
- Thus, everyone who put their name forward for the promotion was removed, and we have come to our final decision.
“As” works well because it removes “such” from the original phrase. Some people do not like the look of “such as” (even though it’s acceptable as a formal written example). If you’re one of those people, “as” works just as well in any case.
Here are some great examples to help you with it:
- You can find many things out in the forest, as is evident by how many things we managed to forage.
- I can’t find a way to make this experiment more streamlined, as made certain by the following findings.
- There are many ways we could alter this reality, as you will soon find out.
“Such as” doesn’t need to be replaced. We thought we’d include it in this list because it’s already a formal phrase. “Like” has no place in formal writing, but there are no reasons why “such as” does not belong when we want to explain a little more about our point.
Here are a few examples to help you understand it:
- There are many ways we can do this, such as finding the equilibrium of the object before testing it.
- We have many things to offer, such as food and wine if you should need either of those.
- There are a couple of people who might be able to help us, such as the King and the Queen of the estate.
“I.e.” is an example of an abbreviation that is acceptable for formal writing. It is a Latin phrase meaning “id est” (that is), and we use it to share what our previous message explicitly refers to. It can sometimes refer to more than one thing.
We can use abbreviations in formal writing when they are suitable. “I.e.” is one of the most suitable cases that we can use, and it’s acceptable for most people to use this Latin abbreviation whenever it suits them.
These examples should help you to make a bit more sense of it:
- The king, i.e. King George III, went mad long before anyone could understand what was wrong with him.
- The people of this city, i.e. the taxpayers, do not understand why their hard-earned money is being thrown away.
- The readings, i.e. the ones in figures 6 and 7, are important for the overall research, and we recommend you pay close attention to them.
“E.g.” is another great example of an abbreviation that we can use. This time, it means “for example” and is Latin for “exempli gratia.” We use it to share a list of examples, which is common formally.
Just like “i.e.,” “e.g.” is formally recognized. While it’s sometimes frowned upon to use abbreviations in your writing, there is nothing wrong with using some of the more common Latin abbreviations to help your writing be more succinct.
Check out some of these examples to see how it works:
- Some western countries, e.g., USA and Canada, have a great system in place for such things.
- The people of the east, e.g., the Japanese and the Chinese, are some of the most welcoming members.
- The most famous wars, e.g., WWI and WWII, had a profound impact on the economic balance at the time.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.