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Giving your opinions

Posted By Manjusha, Filed in English Speaking

There are many ways to give your opinions when speaking English. The exact English expression you use depends on how strong your opinion is.

Key phrases

I think; I feel; I reckon (informal)
I guess (American)
In my view/opinion (formal)
Apparently; so to speak; more or less; sort of (informal)
Kind of (informal)
Well; really; that is to say; at least; I am afraid; I suppose; or rather; actually; I mean

Giving your opinion neutrally

I think/ feel/ reckon/ guess and in my view/ opinion are used to make opinions and statements sound less dogmatic.

  • I think she is lying.
  • I really feel she is making a mistake.
  • I reckon/ guess she just doesn’t love him.
  • In my view/opinion, it would be better to call the police.

Apparently can be used to say that the speaker has got his/her information from somebody else (and perhaps does not guarantee that it is true).

  • Have you heard? Apparently Alice is pregnant again.

So to speak, more or less, at least and sort/kind of are used to show that one is not speaking very exactly, or to soften something which might upset other people. Well and really can also be used to soften.

  • I sort of think we ought to leave now.
  • I kind of think we are going to lose.
  • She is kind of strange.
  • ‘Do you like it?’ ‘Well, yes, it is all right.’
  • Ghosts don’t exist. At least, I have never seen one.
I am afraid

I am afraid (that) often means I am sorry to tell you (that). It is used to introduce apologetic refusals and bad news.

  • I am afraid I can’t help you.
  • I am afraid I forgot to post the letters.

I suppose is used to enquire politely about something. It can also be used to suggest unwilling agreement.

  • ‘I suppose you are very busy at the moment?’
  • ‘Can you lend me some money?’ ‘I suppose so.’

Or rather and I mean can be used to correct oneself.

  • I am seeing him in May – or rather early June.
  • Let’s meet next Monday – I mean Tuesday.
According to

We do not usually give our own opinions with according to.

  • In my opinion, she is sick. (NOT According to me, …)
Giving a strong opinion
  • ’I'm absolutely convinced that…’
  • ‘I'm sure that…’
  • ‘I strongly believe that…’
  • ‘I have no doubt that…’
English expressions for asking someone's opinion
  • What do you think?
  • ‘What's your view?’
  • ‘How do you see the situation?’

More English speaking lessons
Hopes and expectations
Talking about the weather
Talking about general aches and pains
Talking about general likes and dislikes
Focusing and linking ideas
Contrasting points
Talking about ability
Showing exphasis

 

 

 

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