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Business English Skill Set - Small Talk

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Lesson 5, Topic 1

Expressing Your Opinion

Kate July 21, 2020
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The most common construct for expressing our opinion is

I + think + (that) + opinion.

Affirmative examples:

I think that’s a great idea!

I think that they are going to love the new campaign.

We can make this negative by adding ‘don’t’. The second part of the sentence is always affirmative.

Negative examples:

I don’t think that’s a great idea.

I don’t think they are going to love the new campaign.

Some other expressions we can use are:

  • In my opinion…
  • The way I see it…
  • From my perspective…
  • I would say (that)…
  • I believe (that)…
  • It seems… (this expression distances the speaker from the opinion slightly, so be careful not to overuse it. It is similar to saying “it sounds like…”)

Examples:

In my opinion, their first album was better.

The way I see it, the more work we do now, the more prepared we will be.

It seems the client was really interested in talking through the different options.

I wouldn’t say that there are a lot of options for vegetarian travellers there.


Expressing a lack of opinion

In some cases, you may not have a very strong opinion either way on a topic – that’s fine!

Here are some expressions which can be used to show uncertainty.

  • I’m on the fence about that.
  • I’m not sure about that.
  • I’m impartial.
  • I’m somewhere in the middle on that.
  • I’m afraid I don’t know much about that.
  • I haven’t really though about that before, but…

Note: Whilst it’s absolutely fine to express a lack of opinion, take care to come across as on the fence, rather than disinterested in the conversation.

After using these expressions you could do your best to make a comment despite your limited knowledge on the topic, or steer the topic round to something related that you’re able to talk a bit more fluently about.


Use of adverbs and adjectives

To demonstrate a strong or confident opinion on a topic, use an adverb or adjective.

Here are some examples:

  • I strongly/firmly believe…
  • I would definitely say that…
  • It certainly seems that…
  • In my honest opinion…
  • Personally, I think…