Sooner or later everyone gets in a situation when they have to agree or disagree with something that is being said. Expressing your opinion is not always easy, and it can be even more difficult when it is not in your first language. Shaking your head or nodding in approval simply won’t be enough to get you ahead in life, but you may worry that your words will not come out properly or that you might hurt somebody’s feelings. The best thing to do is to learn and practise some common expressions that are used in discussions and debates.
If you want to speak more politely – mostly if you are using English at work – it is important to learn and know various ways of speaking to express your agreement or disagreement. You want to be able to express your judgment and opinion in a way that will be understood clearly by the listener, and you don’t want to seem impolite or rude when you are trying to question another person’s opinions concerning the topic you are discussing.
In this article you’ll find some phrases that you can use to express opinions. Some of these phrases are more appropriate for written English such as giving your opinion in an essay whereas some can also be used in spoken English.
Instructions to agree
1) Nod your head and say “yes”. This is the simplest way to acknowledge what someone says and that you agree in English.
2) Wait until is your turn to speak, and use expressions such as “I agree with …,” “I think … is a good idea,” and “I think you’re right”.
3) If you agree with everything that the other person says, you can say, “I completely agree” or “You’re totally correct/right”. If you do not completely agree with what another person has just said add a qualifier to agree, for instance “I agree with you, but …”, “That makes sense, however …” or “It’s a good idea, but …”.
Instructions to disagree
1) Even if you disagree, remain calm! Keep any anger or disrespect under control. Calmly express your disagreement and respect the other person’s opinions.
2) Notice that when you disagree with someone in English, you need to give a reason why you disagree. It is not enough to simply state that you think the other person is wrong. Explain your thoughts and opinions fully. Use phrases such as “I disagree because …”, “The problem with that is …”, “The way I see it …”, “I’m against it because …”, “Instead, I think that …” to give reason to your opinion.
3) Before finishing your disagreement say “I’m afraid …”, for example “I’m afraid I don’t agree with you” or “I’m afraid I can’t agree” If you do not agree with anything the other person has said, you can say, “I am afraid I completely disagree with you”.
4) Even if you disagree you should try to offer solutions to the problem. Use phrases such as “I think we should …”, “We could …”, “One solution may be …”.
sooner or later – előbb vagy utóbb
to express one’s opinion – kifejezni a véleményét
opinion – vélemény
to nod – bólogatni
in approval – egyetértésben
properly – megfelelően
common expression – bevett kifejezés
discussion – vita, tárgyalás, megbeszélés
debate – vita
politely – udvariasan
mostly – főként
various – különböző
agreement – egyetértés
disagreement – egyet nem értés
judgement – ítélet
impolite – udvariatlan
rude – durva, faragatlan
concerning – valamit illetően
appropriate – megfelelő, alkalmas
to acknowledge – elismerni
completely – teljes mértékben
qualifier – jelző, minősítő
even if – még akkor is, ha
to remain – megmaradni
calm – nyugodt
anger – düh
disrespect – tiszteletlenség
calmly – nyugodtan
to notice – észrevenni
to give a reason – okot adni/érvelni
to state – állítani
fully – teljesen
to offer a solution – megoldást kínálni