Agreeing & disagreeing

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In this intermediate Learn English Vocabulary podcast, Jack talks some phrases you can use to agree and disagree with people.

Transcript

Hello and welcome to Learn English Vocabulary. My name is Jack and I’m making this podcast for you to learn or revise English vocabulary. 

These podcasts are graded from A2 which is around lower intermediate all the way to C2 which is advanced. 

I hope you find these podcasts useful. If you do, please leave me a rating and a review as this will help other learners find these podcasts.  

Introduction

In this podcast, I’m going to talk about ways of agreeing and disagreeing. This podcast is aimed at B1 or Intermediate learners. Yesterday, I recorded a podcast about language you can use to express your opinion and questions you can use to ask someone about their opinion. I hope that this podcast follows on nicely despite being aimed at a higher level.

Agreeing

Agreeing with people is easy. You can say: I agree with you. Notice, you agree with someone if you think their ideas and opinions are correct. You can also agree to do something, but that means you have said yes to someone who has asked you to do something and it’s not the same as agreeing with someone’s ideas. I agree with you or even more simply, yes, I agree. 

You could also say yes, I think you’re right. You could make this one stronger using an adverb like completely or exactly. Yes, I think you’re completely right. Or Yes, I think you’re exactly right. You can even use the adverb exactly to agree with someone. So if someone says “I think Indonesian food is amazing”, you could say: “Exactly.” I’m not sure it makes complete sense grammatically, but it’s something people say. Lastly, instead of exactly, you could day absolutely. So if someone says: “Iron Maiden are a great band”, you could say, “Absolutely.” 

So you can agree by saying: 

I agree with you. 

Yes, you’re right.

or 

Absolutely!

If you want to disagree with someone, there are many ways you can do it. I’m going to look at language you can use to disagree politely and then language you can use to disagree … more forcefully.  

Disagreeing politely

If you want to disagree with someone politely, the best way is to start to partially agree with someone. You can say, “Yes, that’s true, but don’t you think …” So, I’m going to stick with music in these examples as I think it’s quite a safe topic. Imagine if someone said “Metallica are the best metal band in the world”, you could say. “Yes, that’s true, but don’t you think Iron Maiden are actually better?” Another phrase you could use is, “Yes you could be right, but don’t forget Iron Maiden have released 6 more studio albums.” Or … “Yes, possibly, but I’m not sure any band is better live than Iron Maiden.”

To disagree politely, you start to agree with: 

Yes, that’s true, but … 

or 

Yes, that could be right, but … 

or 

Yes, possibly, but … 

and then say why you disagree.

If you want to be a bit more direct, you could say. I’m not sure you’re right. Or, I’m not sure that’s completely true. So if someone says “Metallica’s singer is better than Iron Maiden’s singer”, you could say. “I’m not sure that’s true. I’m not sure you’re right. Bruce Dickinson has a much greater vocal range.”

Disagreeing forcefully

Now if someone was to say Metallica’s lead guitarist is better than Iron Maiden’s, it would be appropriate to disagree strongly. You could say, I completely disagree with you. Or if you want to be even more forceful, you could say “that’s nonsense” or even: “Rubbish! Iron Maiden have three guitarists that are better than Metallica’s. “

To disagree strongly, then, you can say:

I completely disagree with you!

That’s nonsense! 

or even 

Rubbish!

There is one more bonus phrase that you may come across which is a way to disagree, but also make it clear that you are not interested in getting into an argument. The phrase is:

We’ll have to agree to disagree.

I think that this phrase is actually the strongest way you can disagree with someone because it doesn’t just mean you’re wrong, it means I think you are wrong and I also think you are not worthy of an argument. It’s also really infuriating, it drives me crazy when people who are just wrong use it. For example, if someone says the capital city of France is Rome, you could say “No, it’s not. It’s Paris. Look here at this map. Look in this guide book, look at this Wikipedia page.” And they might say, “ah well, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.” “No, I do not agree with you. I will not agree to disagree.”

There you have some phrases you can use to agree, to disagree politely and to disagree more strongly. 

Conclusion

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please leave me a comment or a review and don’t forget that you can read the transcript for this podcast and complete some language activities on LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk.

Thanks for listening.

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2 Comments

  • Majid
    Posted 09/12/2021 at 2:01 pm 0Likes

    Thanks, Jack.

  • MAJID POURKARIMI
    Posted 25/01/2022 at 7:50 am 0Likes

    Appreciate it, Jack!

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