How to Effectively Express Your Opinion in an Argument
Today I am excited to share another guest post, which fits perfectly into this month’s theme of March Modal Madness. Guest posts provide an excellent opportunity for you to see even more ‘Outside the Box’ learning opportunities; you’ll see different styles of writing, additional information, and be exposed to new resources that even I may not have been aware of. Another positive: I am, as you know, one woman running English Outside the Box and its many platforms, so these guest posts help keep content abdunant. I am definitely open to considering more throughout the year, so if you are a writer/educator/blogger/amazing person (of any language/country) that would like the opportunity to guest post (in English) for English Outside the Box, then feel free to send me an e-mail!
So, getting back to Paul’s insanely useful post, how does it fit into #marchmodalmadness? Well after reading his article about how to effectively express your opinion in an argument you [modal of ability] can participate successfully in a debate that you [modal of possibility] may be a part of. You [modal of necessity] don’t have to go out and get into an argument, but you [modal of advisability] should always be expanding your vocabulary and English skills, so another reason why this post is for you! 🙂
Have you ever felt strongly about something, but didn’t know exactly how to express your opinion in English? One of the most frustrating things about learning a language is when you can’t find the right vocabulary to verbalize your thoughts — especially when you are stating your opinion or making an argument. Here are some useful words and phrases that will help you speak your mind (say exactly what you think or feel) and express your opinions clearly.
If you’re a United States presidential candidate, it’s very important to express your opinion clearly during a debate. Source: David Hume Kennerly / Wikipedia
Stating your opinion
One of the most straightforward ways to introduce your personal opinion is to simply say, “I think that . . . “ However, if you want to spice up (make something more interesting) your argument, try some of these common variations.
1. In my opinion
In my opinion, it’s important to express your thoughts in English.
2. From my point of view
From my point of view, English grammar is confusing.
3. As far as I’m concerned
As far as I’m concerned, phrasal verbs are the worst thing about learning English.
Personally, I think it’s interesting to listen to different English accents.
5. If you ask me
If you ask me, my favorite way to learn English is to listen to music.
6. The way I see things
The way I see things, memorizing long lists of vocabulary is really boring.
7. I feel like (Note: This usually expresses a weak opinion.)
I feel like I could carry a conversation in English, but I’m not sure.
8. I take the view that (Note: this is formal, and may be more appropriate for written English.)
I take the view that learning English is important for business professionals.
Agreeing and disagreeing with someone else’s opinion
It’s important to be able to state your own opinion. However, it’s equally important to be able to respond to others when they express their opinions. Aside from saying “I agree”, there are plenty of ways that you can respond to somebody to show that you are in agreement with someone.
1. Exactly / Totally / Definitely.
2. Of course.
3. That’s a good point.
4. You’re absolutely right.
5. That’s so true.
6. That’s for sure.
Sometimes, you really agree with somebody’s opinion. Other times, you only agree with some of it, but not everything. Here are some useful phrases that can express strong and weak agreement:
7. I’m with you one-hundred percent. (strong agreement)
8. I couldn’t agree with you more. (strong agreement)
9. I guess so. (weak agreement)
10. I suppose. (weak agreement)
Showing that you disagree with somebody is hard, because you don’t want to come across as (seem) rude or argumentative. Indeed, saying “I disagree” can sometimes appear to be a bit harsh in spoken English. The next time that you take issue (disagree) with something that somebody says, try one of these alternatives.
1. I don’t think I completely agree.
2. I’m not so sure about that.
3. I don’t think that’s the case.
4. That’s not necessarily true.
Occasionally, somebody says something so erroneous (wrong) that you can’t be polite. In these circumstances, you can use more harsh statements of disagreement. For example, if somebody said, “I think learning English is extremely easy”, you could say:
5. No way!
6. Absolutely not!
7. Are you kidding me?
Of course, when you disagree with someone, it’s important to follow up by explaining why. That’s a great chance to use the vocabulary that we learned earlier for stating your opinion.
Finally, sometimes, there are people who just see things differently from the way you do. If you can’t reach an agreement even after stating your opinion and listening to theirs, it can be best to simply stop arguing and move on (change the topic to something else). If you want to end an argument, you can use some of these phrases:
1. Let’s just drop it.
2. I think we need to move on.
3. We’ll have to agree to disagree.
Now, you’re prepared to clearly state your opinion, as well as express agreement and disagreement. These handy phrases will help you hold your own (do well in a difficult situation) when you find yourself in an argument or debate. Of course, the best way to practice expressing your opinion is to actually do it! So, readers, leave a comment: in your opinion, what’s the hardest part about learning English?
“My guest blogger today, Paul, is an English teacher in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He writes on behalf of the Language Trainers blog, which posts articles about traveling and language learning. Feel free to contact [email protected] with any questions.“
Well that’s really cool and helpful articles!
I have met quite some problems with English communication skills 🙁
English is not as easy as people think.
I actually have a problem when express what in mind both mother tounge and English. Could you give me some tips?
Well, writing what’s on your mind is a great place to start, and can be done alone. A conversation class will also help you build not only the skills to speak and express yourself, but the confidence as well!
Thank you for your advices. I write diary everyday and try to contact with other by email instead of cell phone. I should take part in a conversation class to speak more. I try to think and comment some article on the internet too…I hope my communicate will be better!
Yes! All great ideas! You’re in the blog, maybe you can start with my Creativity Tuesday posts, this will definitely help you practice expressing yourself since you need to respond to pictures. Good luck and I look forward to seeing your posts more often on English Outside the Box! 🙂