agreeing and disageeing

Two Sides of the Coin: Agreeing and Disagreeing in English Conversations

“And I will, but you won’t

And I do, but, but you don’t

We won’t budge either way

But we like it, we like it”

These lines from Katy Perry’s song “Agree to Disagree” show that just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean that a friendly, romantic or even professional relationship isn’t possible. In fact, both agreements and disagreements are part of any relationship.

What’s important, especially when disagreeing with someone, is how you disagree.

There are many phrases and words that are used to express agreement and disagreement in English, and depending on the specific situation, some are more appropriate (fitting or correct) than others.

Almost any conversation that you find yourself participating in will include having to agree or disagree. So, let’s learn how to do so like a friendly native English speaker.
 


 

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Some Tips About Sharing Opinions in English

Indicate that you’re sharing your opinion

Agreements and disagreements are generally about your personal thoughts and feelings in relation to something. Phrases like “I think” or “in my opinion” make it clear that you’re stating an opinion and not a fact.

Using these types of phrases helps to create a friendly environment where both people feel that they can talk openly and share their own opinions.

Ask for feedback

Questions like “What do you think?” also helps the other person feel like you’re open to a discussion and care about their opinions.

Be polite

Even if you disagree, you can still be polite and respectful. Phrases like “I might be wrong, but…” or “I am sorry, but I don’t agree,” help to maintain politeness and respect.

Try to address the thought instead of the person

Differences in thought and opinion don’t need to affect your relationship with people. This is especially important in academic and office spaces. Remember, your disagreement or agreement is with the opinion, thought or idea.

“I say this with due respect, but…” is a nice way to state a disagreement, especially in a professional or formal setting.

Know when to end the conversation

Ending a conversation when it starts to become too uncomfortable or when the other person just repeats the same points over and over again is a good idea. It indicates that the person isn’t really interested in changing their mind or accepting your different point of view, so continuing the conversation at this stage is pointless.

In these situations, you should just agree to disagree and move on.

Two Sides of the Coin: Agreeing and Disagreeing in English

The act of agreeing and disagreeing is part of everyday conversation in any language. While learning the following phrases is important for being able to agree and disagree in English, there’s nothing quite as valuable as experiencing these types of conversations in person.

If you want to learn from authentic, real-world English content from the comfort of your computer or smart device, FluentU is the next best thing to in-person immersion!

agreeing and disageeing

FluentU is an online immersion platform that takes real-world videos—like music videos, television show clips, news stories and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. With thousands of videos, each complete with interactive subtitles and vocabulary lists, you’ll definitely learn how to agree and disagree like a native English speaker!

But first, let’s learn some simple expressions for agreeing and disagreeing.

Common Expressions Used to Show Agreement

Absolutely! / Definitely! / Of Course!

These words express a strong agreement with another person.

Examples:

Do you think that eating less meat is better for the environment?

Absolutely!

Do you believe that hard work is the key to success?

Definitely!

If I ask her on a date, do you think she’ll say yes?

Of course!

I also think so.

When you’re in complete agreement with someone, this simple phrase is appropriate.

Examples:

I think the meeting room in our office needs more chairs.

I also think so.

We need to study more to prepare for our exam on Monday.

I also think so.

I agree with you a hundred percent. / I agree with you entirely.

This is another way to express that you’re in complete agreement with someone.

Examples:

Nothing can replace the feeling of reading paper books.

I agree with you a hundred percent.

I don’t think Jeff’s plan is going to work.

I agree with you entirely.

You can say that again!

This indicates a very strong agreement. Usually, people don’t take this phrase literally (word for word) and don’t actually repeat what they just said.

Examples:

We shouldn’t worry about things we can’t control.

You can say that again!

Let’s focus on the positives instead of the negatives.

You can say that again!

That’s so true!

Examples:

Helping others always makes me feel better.

That’s so true! Helping others always makes me feel better too.

Reading before bedtime helps me fall asleep better than watching television.

That’s so true! Reading before bedtime helps me, too.

I was just going to say that!

Examples:

The wind is so cold today.

I was just going to say that!

I love this song.

I was just going to say that!

You have a point there.

Examples:

I think recording the class lectures on my phone is easier than trying to write down everything our professor says.

You have a point there. I’m going to try doing that too.

Maybe we should exercise in the park rather than in the gym that way we can get some fresh air today.

You have a point there. We need some fresh air.

Tell me about it!

This phrase is considered slang, and is not typically used in formal English.

Examples:

Taking a taxi to work every day costs so much money.

Tell me about it!

I wish I could buy a house in the countryside and get out of the city for good.

Tell me about it!

I have no objections.

This is perhaps one of the weaker phrases of agreement in English. Usually, people say this when they’re not really committed to something but see no reason why they should oppose it either.

Examples:

I think we should buy pink curtains for our study room.

I have no objections to this. You can pick whatever color you want.

We should take a break for 30 minutes and have a coffee.

I have no objections to that plan. I’m ready for a break whenever you are.

Common Expressions Used to Show Disagreement

I beg to differ.

This phrase is usually considered a strong, formal and very polite phrase used for disagreements.

Examples:

Chocolate cake is the best cake.

I beg to differ. While chocolate cake is good, coconut cake is the best, in my opinion.

Cats are better pets than dogs.

I beg to differ. I like cats, but in my opinion, dogs are the best.

No way!

This is an informal way to disagree. There’s usually a feeling of surprise and disbelief when using this phrase.

Examples:

Jeff says that he can memorize everything for a test in just an hour!

No way!

Kelly says that she can run a mile in five minutes.

No way!

I think there’s a better explanation.

Examples:

Our profits are down this year because our employees are taking too many coffee breaks.

I think there’s a better explanation. Maybe profits are down because our new website keeps crashing.

I don’t think I did well on the test because I’m not very smart.

I think there’s a better explanation. Maybe you didn’t do well on the test because you never went to class.

Yes, but…

This phrase is used when you partially agree with some points but might not be in complete agreement.

Examples:

I think we should plant a lot of trees in our front yard.

Yes, but we don’t really have a lot of space to plant more than eight trees.

We should buy new furniture for our bedroom.

Yes, but we don’t have the money for new furniture right now.

To be honest, I don’t agree with that.

This is a polite way to disagree with someone.

Examples:

We should hire more people to get the work done so we don’t have to work as hard.

To be honest, I don’t agree with that. I think we can get the work done ourselves if we just focus.

Skateboarding is a lot safer than riding a bike.

To be honest, I don’t agree with that. I know more people who have had skateboarding accidents than bike accidents.

That’s not always true. / That’s not entirely true.

Examples:

Exercise is the best way to maintain your weight.

That’s not entirely true. You also need to eat a healthy diet.

Smart people don’t need help from anyone to get their work done.

That’s not always true.

As a matter of fact, I don’t think that’s correct.

This is a more firm but formal way to express your disagreement.

Examples:

There’s no use in learning new things once you’re old.

As a matter of fact, I don’t think that’s correct.

All people work better in teams.

As a matter of fact, I don’t think that’s correct.

You can’t be serious!

This is again an informal way to disagree with someone strongly. It also expresses disbelief.

Examples:

I think we should stop printing books because no one reads anymore.

You can’t be serious!

There’s no use in saving money.

You can’t be serious!

 

Agreements and disagreements are a big part of most discussions. Learning some simple ways to agree and disagree in English will help you improve your conservation skills and be able to participate in discussions with native English speakers.
 

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