English, as all languages, has variations of style, from the most colloquial to the most formal. Informally you may have a hunch, but in a paper or thesis you put forward a hypothesis.

Colloquial or slang expressions are usually avoided in university and research writing. Here, more formal style is the norm, and this helps your work to be taken seriously.

If you are a non-native speaker, sensing the distinction between formal and informal language can be difficult as the differences are often subtle. However, all the phrases in the PhraseBook are in the normal style for university and research writing and can be used without restriction.

A number of examples of colloquial terms and their university and research equivalents are given below. The words on the left should not normally be used in formal writing.

Colloquial University and Research
a bit somewhat
all right satisfactory
brainy intelligent
figure out calculate or solve
grown up adult
hunch hypothesis
info information
kids children
lab laboratory
a lot of many or a great deal of
maths GB or math US mathematics
OK satisfactory