Expression of asking and giving opinion.
1. Giving Opinions:
- As far as I’m concerned …
- In my opinion … In my view …
- From my point of view …
- The way I see it is (that) …
- To my mind …
- Well, I reckon (that) …
- I (strongly) believe (that) …
- I (honestly) think (that) …
- I (really) feel (that) …
- Personally speaking, I believe …
- As for me, I reckon …
2. Asking Opinions:
- What do you think/reckon?
- do you see what I’m getting at?
- Do you know/see what I mean?
- Do you agree with me?
- Would you go along with that?
- Would you agree with me that … ?
- What are your thoughts on that?
- Don’t you think (that) … ?
- I (totally) agree with you / that.
- I couldn’t agree more.
- I’d go along with that.
- I feel the same.
- You’re absolutely right.
- Absolutely / Definitely / Exactly.
- No doubt about it.
- That’s a good point. / I see your point.
- I see where you’re coming from.
- I’m afraid I disagree.
- I don’t agree with you / that.
- I’d be inclined to disagree.
- That’s not the way I see it.
- I don’t think so. / I don’t feel the same.
5. Partly agreeing:
- I see your point but …
- I kind of agree with you / that.
- I agree with you to an extent, however, …
- You make a good point, but …
Asking for and expressing opinions is something we frequently do in every day English. We will need to ask and give opinions in formal situations such as in business, in writing, both academic and informal texts, and in informal speaking.
- It seems to me that the government should reduce trade tariffs. (Formal)
- What do you reckon to these shoes? (Informal)
Giving opinions can be weak or strong:
- I think….
- I don’t think…
- I’m fairly certain that….
- I’m quite certain that….
- I would have thought that….
- I believe….
- I don’t doubt that….
- I feel certain that…
- My impression is that….
- As I see it..
- It seems to me that…
- It strikes me that…..
- I’m absolutely certain that….
- I’m convinced that….
- I strongly believe that…
- I think it’s a good movie
- I don’t doubt that smoking is bad for you
- I’m convinced that it’s the best decision we could make for the company
Asking for an opinion:
- What do you think about this brand, Tom?
- What do you reckon to these shoes, Pam?
- Mum, how do you feel about buying me a new smart phone?
- What do you think about this?
- Do you have any strong feelings on this, John?
- Any comments, anybody?
- What are your views on nuclear power?
Sometimes when we give opinions we may want to give a reason.
- One reason is….
- Another is….
- To start with….
- Added to that….
- For one thing….
- It seems to me that weak gun laws lead to more crime. For one thing, it’s too easy to get a weapon these days.
Sometimes, if we are exchanging opinions with other people we may want to interrupt them politely.
- Excuse me. Can I just say….?
- Could I come in here…?
- Sorry to interrupt but….
- Yes, but….
Stopping someone from interrupting you:
- If you’d let me finish…
- Just a minute…
- Hang on…(informal)
Try to use some of the language to ask for and give opinions. Choose any topic such as: energy conservation, obesity in the West, marriage, the price of branded sports shoes, the dangers of the internet for children, the best Star Wars film etc.Practise with a friend or write out some dialogues like this:
A: What do you think about marriage?
B: I don’t think it’s for everyone. To start with, the cost of a wedding these days is ridiculous!
A: Well, I don’t doubt that but I believe it’s better for society and…
B: Sorry to interrupt but, as I see it, marriage only leads to divorce!
A:Ok, so as you know we have a deadline to get this work finished. How do you feel about staying late tonight?
A: Any comments, Peter, Anne?
B: Well, it seems to me that we don’t have a choice.
C: I feel sure that if we get our heads down, we can finish by 6pm.
Writing letters or send emails expressing our opinions about something:
Dear Mr Smith,
I am writing to express my concern about the proposed closure of the village bus route.
I strongly believe that taking away our local bus will have serious consequences for the people who live here. To start with, many elderly residents will be unable to get to the shops and added to that, people will be more isolated than ever.
I would like to know what your reaction is to this situation,
More for you:
Useful English Phrases For Running A Business Meeting
Essential Academic Writing Examples and Phrases!
19 Email Templates for Business Communication
This is a guest post by Sam Pealing. Make sure to visit his website EnglishForStudy.com for more academic English help!
I admire international students. Seriously. If you’re a non-native English speaker doing a degree or doctorate in English, then I take my hat off to you.
I get a lot of questions about writing essays, and I’ve taught hundreds of students how to write effective essays (which get good grades). One of the most common mistakes that I see is a lack of opinion.
Most of the time, students describe a situation, but they don’t give their opinion or stance. This can really damage your grade because lecturers are always looking for ‘critical thinking’. If you don’t give your opinion in your essays, your lecturers can’t see your critical thinking.
To put it simply: If you don’t put your opinion or stance in an essay, then you’ll probably lose marks.
In this article, you’ll learn 10 effective phrases that you can use to give your opinion in your essay. I’ve also created a free lesson pack which will help you to practice the phrases in this article. CLICK HERE to download it.
Introducing the Phrases
If you’re looking for a quick fix for your essay, these phrases should help you to start putting your own opinions in your essays.
But, before you rush over to your essays to start putting these phrases in, there’s something you need to know.
If you’re writing an academic essay, you will need to support your opinions with strong evidence. This is especially true if you are using some of the stronger phrases.
This evidence can be a journal article, a lecture, a textbook, or something else which is a trustworthy source of information.
In a more informal essay, like one in an IELTS or TOEFL language test, you don’t need to support your answers with strong evidence. Your experiences or opinions will be enough.
Quick note: I know! You’re ready to see the phrases.
This won’t take long and it’s really important.
1. For these phrases to be really effective, you’ll need to review your grammar. Shayna has some great videos on her Espresso English Youtube channel.
I recommend these:
2. If you want to know the structure of a good essay paragraph, check my post here.
Informal English Phrases
These phrases are suitable for language tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. In an academic essay, these phrases will probably be too informal because they are too personal.
“In my opinion, + [your sentence]”
- In my opinion, a good education is more important than a good car.
“I believe that + [your sentence]”
- I believe that schools should encourage students to walk or cycle to school rather than drive.
“In my mind, + [your sentence]”
- “In my mind, no-one should have to pay for medical care.”
More Formal Academic Phrases With ‘That’
These phrases are more suitable for academic essays. If you are unsure whether you should use an informal phrase or an academic phrase, use an academic one. If you think your writing might be informal, read this post to learn more.
The patterns here are quite straightforward. Just add your sentence after ‘that’.
“It would seem that + [your sentence]”
Use this when you support your opinion with evidence.
- “It would seem that children learn best when they are feeling comfortable.”
“It could be argued that + [your sentence]”
Use this when you want to challenge an existing opinion.
- “It could be argued that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks in this situation.”
“This suggests that + [your sentence]”
Use this when you don’t want to fully commit to an opinion. You’re giving yourself some distance.
- “The evidence suggests that people who speak more than one language have more job opportunities.”
“This proves that + [your sentence]”
Use this when you are confident with your opinion. This phrase is quite strong*
- “This proves that the best way to lose weight is through a controlled diet and a good exercise program.”
“This supports the idea that + [your sentence]”
Use this one when you are supporting an opinion that you have already made.
- “This new research supports the idea that successful English learners look for opportunities to use English.”
Other Ways to Express Opinion
“Although [idea you disagree with], [idea you agree with]”
Use this when you want make your opinion seem balanced.
- “Although reports suggest that cigarettes could help people to lose weight, there are too many serious health problems associated with smoking.”
Note: The ‘although’ pattern is very effective because it shows two sides of the argument. In the example, I support the idea that smoking is bad for your health –BUT- I recognise that it could have some benefits.
Structure your ‘although’ sentence like this: Although, [weaker argument you disagree with], [stronger argument you agree with].
Using Adverbs, Adjectives and Nouns
You can use adjectives to show your opinion.
- “This research was poorly conducted with a lack of control.”
The adjective and nouns in the example are negative. You can get some good ideas from this video on Extreme Adjectives. Note: try not to use any emotional adjectives.
Make Your Own Phrases!
Of course, these phrases aren’t the only ones that you can use! You can find more –or– you can create your own by combining different patterns.
Here’s an example of #7, #9 and #10 used together.
“Although it is difficult for older adults to learn a second language, an important study by Smith (2014) proved that the elderly can successfully learn new languages.”
What Should You Do Now?
So now you should have a better idea of how to include more opinions in your essays. But that’s not all; there are probably some new words here that you don’t know.
So here’s what you should do:
- Choose three of the opinion expressions and phrases that you want to try.
- Practice writing sentences using them (if you don’t have a topic, try this: should students do homework? You can see examples of this in the lesson pack)
- Get the Lesson Pack for this lesson (which contains the vocabulary and the phrases from this lesson) CLICK HERE to download it.
About Sam Pealing
Sam Pealing is an English language coach who specialises in two important areas: 1. helping you to get great grades at university, and 2. helping you to become an effective and confident English user. If you’re feeling frustrated or confused with English, Sam has created the perfect email course for you! You can join his course here –or- you can read more by him on English For Study.