1. Learning to Express Strong Agreement
There are various ways of agreeing and disagreeing. It is possible to agree in a strong or weak manner; and it is possible to disagree in a strong or weak manner. Here are some words and expressions for agreeing strongly:
I agree entirely.
I agree 100%.
I couldn't agree with you more.
That's just what I think.
That's exactly what I was thinking.
No doubt about it.
I agree with you completely.
You know, that's exactly what I think.
You're spot on.
That makes a lot of sense.
You've hit the nail on the head.
Sample Dialogue 1
Janine: I always get angry when I hear that an old person was robbed.
Jim: Me too. Imagine attacking someone who can't defend himself! It's shameful!
Janine: Absolutely! They should be in jail.
Jim: I couldn't agree with you more!
Sample Dialogue 2
Jorge: This place is wonderful, isn't it?
Betty: Sure is!
Jorge: Lovely trees, flowers and avenues.
Jorge: Terrific restaurants with good food.
Betty: And how!
Jorge: And the nightlife is just fantastic.
Betty: No doubt about it!
2. Learning to Express Weak Agreement
Sometimes we agree but not so strongly. There are other times when we have to agree as we have no choice. When this is the case, we use expressions that show weak agreement. The following expressions and dialogues are examples of this.
I don't mind.
I suppose so.
If you have to.
Well, yes, but …
I've got mixed feelings about that.
Well, I don’t know …
Hmm, possibly, but …
You've got a point, but ...
I agree up to a point ...
Jaime: Where'll we go for lunch? How about the coffee shop?
Bill: I don't mind.
Lee: I need some help with this lesson. Could you help me after class today?
Jane: I suppose so.
Howard (the boss): How about a cup of coffee before going home?
Jacques (an employee): Uh Okay.
Another way of showing weak agreement is to use an expression of strong agreement, adding words to show that it is weak agreement. Look at how this is done in the following three dialogues.
Ann: Good lunch, wasn't it?
Arnold: Sure, but it was a bit too salty.
Joan: This city is a great place to live.
Peter: I agree, but only in the summer.
Miriam: Will you come shopping with me?
Michael: I'd love to, but only for half an hour.
3. Learning to Disagree
Look at these expressions we use as the first part of expressing disagreement:
Hmmm, I’m not sure about that.
I don't think that's right …
I disagree (with you) …
I don't agree with you (that) ...
I’m afraid you’re wrong.
You're missing the point.
How can you possibly think that?
That doesn't make sense.
Usually when we disagree with something in English, it's followed by some reason or explanation of why we disagree. Look at this example:
Hau: John wants to buy a motorcycle with the money he's saved. I think that's a good idea.
Terry: I disagree with you because I think they're very dangerous.
Hau: I guess you're right. They are dangerous.
There is one way to disagree without using disagreeing expressions and still be polite. Look at the following:
Peter: This is a boring city to live in. There's nothing to do at night.
Ruth: I think there's lots to do. It takes time to learn about all the exciting things happening.
Notice that Ruth said: "I think ..." and then said the opposite of what Peter had said. This has the meaning of: "I disagree with you, Peter".
Expressing complete agreement
Agreeing in part
Expressing conditional agreement
Expressing complete disagreement
Using irony to express disagreement
Dismissing an argument as irrelevant or improbable
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