Conversation Skills: How to agree or disagree in English

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Learn English with Benjamin [engVid]
Published at : 16 Dec 2020
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Do you have an opinion? Want to express yourself? Need to tell someone that they are wrong? Watch this lesson to improve your conversational skills, and to learn the best expressions to argue and debate. In this lesson I teach you how to agree and disagree in formal and informal settings, so that you can tell people what you think -- politely and intelligently. Personally, I think that this is a very important English lesson. What do you think? Take the quiz here: http://www.engvid.com/conversation-skills-agree-disagree/

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, there, everybody. Today, we're doing a general class on having an argument, giving an opinion. Okay? Useful words for giving opinions, agreeing, disagreeing. This is something you have to do in so many walks of life, in so many situations, whether it's with your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, whether it's with your boss, your mom, your dad. Many times, we find ourselves making a point, saying something, having something that is slightly different to the other person. Okay? It's life.

We're going to start with giving opinions. Now, we might start with an adverb like "personally". Okay? Or "frankly". So "person" -- you can see the word "person". When we say "personally", it's about this person; it's about me. "Me, I think this." "Personally, I would say that --." "Personally, I think that --."

Now, let's spend today talking about the issue of whether you should give money to the homeless man. "Personally, I think lots of people give money to them." Or, "Personally, I think they need the money." Or, "Frankly" -- this means "honestly". "Frankly, I think charity starts at home." That's a phrase that means, "If I'm going to be kind, I need to be kind to me." "Frankly, I don't want to give them any money." Okay?

Now, what I've done here is I've marked which ones are good to use in a work situation and which ones are more informal. So where I have marked, this is good to use at work. "Personally", "I'd say that". But "I reckon" and "if you ask me", these are more casual ways of speaking. "If you ask me, I think the bloke's taking the piss, mate." Okay? "If you ask me, I think the bloke's taking the piss." He's having a laugh. Okay? "I reckon he really needs some coins." Okay? So this is the one you can use at work. "I'd say that you have to think about it and balance the options up." I don't know.

What do you think? Have a go now. Personally, I think that -- go on. Give me a sentence. Great. Good work.

Now, you've presented your first opinion, and someone is agreeing with you. Let's practice agreeing with someone, okay? "Definitely! I mean, it's so cold in London. You should give some money to them." Okay? "Definite." "Definite" means certain. Okay? It's the same as "certainly". "Certainly" would be very -- too formal, though." Okay? "Definitely. You're right." Or if you like what they're saying, you agree, you could say, "I think so, too. I mean, it must be a difficult life." Yeah? These are all phrases you could use in a work situation. Okay? All of these are good for work. They're not informal ones. "I think so, too. I mean, it's really cold at the moment." "You're right. I mean, imagine not having a home or somewhere to go to the bathroom." "That's a good point. I agree with you." Okay? "I agree. It's really sad that they're living under a bridge." Okay? So these are all ways of agreeing. "Definitely. You're right. That's a good point."

Giving opinions, I could say "personally, frankly, if you ask me". These are my informal ones. These are my formal ones. Formal. Good for work. Good for the pub. Great.

Now, let's disagree. Let's disagree with Mother. "Yes, Mom. But they don't have any money to spend on a sandwich." Okay? So I'm disagreeing. I think something different to Mom. "You see, I don't agree, Mom. I think it's nice to be generous." Or you could say, "I don't know about that." Okay? Listen to the pronunciation. "I don't know about that." This is how it's spelled, "I don't know", and we say, "I dunno about that." Okay?

"Hmm. I'm not sure about that. I'm not certain." It's polite. We're disagreeing. We know that we disagree, but we're polite, so we say, "I'm not sure. I think maybe it's a nice idea to give them 10p." Or "I'm not sure about that. I'm not sure that I like that idea." Okay? You're still disagreeing. It's an English, English way of talking. We're very polite, yeah? Sometimes, anyway. Not the drivers.

"I don't go along with you." Okay? If I go along with my friend to the beach, I go along with them. But if I don't know along, no. I think something different. So, "No. I don't go along with you on that. I think blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."

"That's a good point, a good argument, but blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." "Surely you can't give all your money to them because then, you would be like them." Okay? "Surely", so you're emphasizing.
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