• Lawrence Pitcher

Lesson 2 - Expressing opinions and disagreeing politely

Updated: Sep 1, 2019



In today's lesson we will look at how to ask people for their opinions and how to agree and disagree politely.


These are very useful skills which can make your life much smoother.


First of all, let's look at how to ask for someone's opinion. You can start by saying that you will ask them a question:


> Do you mind if I ask you a question?

or

> Is it ok if I ask you a question?


Usually the other person will say "yes." Then, you can ask your question.


> What do you think of President Trump? / What do you think about President Trump?


Now, let's look at how to give your opinion. You can say:


> I think (that) he is a great president

or

> I feel (that) he will make many problems


You can say "personally," or "It's just my opinion, but" to show that it is only your view.


> Personally, I think (that) he is a great president

or

> It's just my opinion, butI feel (that) he will make many problems

If you don't want to answer you can evade the question by saying:


>I'm not really sure

or

> I don't really have a strong opinion about it

or

> I don't know much about it


For some questions, you can also say that you think each situation is different:


> It depends on the situation / I think there are advantages and disadvantages


Here are some questions, we will ask in class:


Is it better to live in an apartment or a house?


Is it better to buy your own house/apartment or to rent for ever?


Should men pay for everything on a date, or should you split the bill fifty-fifty?


What's the best way to be happy?


Do you think there will be a world war 3?


You can think of your own questions to ask the other members too.


After you ask the questions, it is important to ask follow up questions to understand the person's way of thinking more clearly. You can ask:


> Why do you think so?

or

> Why do you think that?


Example conversation 1


Do you mind if I ask you a question?

No, of course not. What is it?

Well, I read a book about World War 3. Do you think there will be another big war?

I'm not really sure. What do you think?

I'm not sure either, but I hope there isn't.

Personally, I think that if there is another war, it will be bigger than World War 2.

Why do you think so?

Because of the technology that so many countries have now



Example conversation 2


Is it ok if I ask you a question?

Sure. What is it?

I'm thinking of buying a house. Do you think it's a good idea to buy now?

I don't know much about it. I think it depends on the situation.

Well, I have always dreamed of owning my own house.

In that case, you should buy one.

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