INTRODUCING INFORMATION AND LISTING POINTS Firstly …/ Primarily … / Most importantly … / This candidate .../ The first proposal … Secondly. .. / Then, … The most important quality... / Another interesting point about the candidate is … Finally, this candidate / proposal also … If chosen, this candidate would provide … The only disadvantage is / The only downside is … / The only drawback is … RECOMMENDING I’d recommend … I prefer … to … Firstly, … would greatly improve It would certainly help … if … I would not / I don’t recommend …. Because STAGE 3 JUSTIFYING VIEWPOINTS … on the grounds that … .. mainly because … This is due to the fact that … The main reason behind this is... Exemplifying … for example … … such as … In fact, …. COMPARING AND CONTRASTING / EXPRESSING ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES From the two options… I believe … is the better choice because …. ..is much more .. than …because However, the downside of One of the difficulties of … The only disadvantage is that … A key advantage is that … Even though …. Is ….., it would …. REACHING A DECISION Well, I partly agree with you but … Yes, but don’t forget that … I suppose you are right about that but … That’s one view but … It seems that we both feel / agree that … STAGE 4 PRESENTING AN OPTION To begin with, I believe … The main reason behind this … This is largely due to the fact that … Another reason that makes .. the most suitable choice is …
Another reason why we support this is …
STAGE 5 DEFENDING A DECISION What I mean is … I don’t believe that … In other words, … To be perfectly honest, I … What I am trying to say is that … The way I see it … As a result, … OTHER USEFUL EXPRESSIONS..
Expressing an Opinion To my mind, … As I see it, … As far as I’m concerned, … Personally speaking, … If it were up to me, I’d say that Generally speaking, I believe that… I firmly believe that Giving reasons / justifying The main reason why I feel this is because … One of the reasons why … is that … Considering both sides On one hand, … On the other hand, … Some people feel that, but others say… Although it is true that …, it could also be argued that … It is true that …., but there is also a major disadvantage to …. Expressions for Challenging an Argument I'm sorry, but I'm afraid you're missing the point. No, I believe that's really not true. So what exactly are you talking about? In the case of . . . , this is simply not so. I find this really hard to believe. What you don't seem to fully understand is . . . AGREEMENT Agreement with an unfavorable opinion (with an expression of regret). A: His speech was boring B: Yes, I am afraid it was / I have to agree that it was / I must say I found it so. Emphasizing your agreement. A: It was an interesting exhibition, wasn’t it? B: Yes, it was superb/absolutely splendid!
A: A referendum will satisfy everybody. B:Yes, definitely/quite/absolutely/ I absolutely agree/I couldn’t agree more/I quite agree/ I agree entirely. A: A referendum will not satisfy everybody. B:Definitely not/It certainly won’t/You are absolutely right, it won’t/ I agree that it won’t. / Exactly / Yes, I quite agree / That’s quite true. Other ways of expressing agreement are: That’s just what I was thinking. You know, that’s exactly what I think. That’s a good point. Qualified agreement Certainly it’s true that …, but on the other hand… I can see that…. But surely… I am in total agreement with you about… but we also have to consider…. Agreed, BUT if we accept… then it must also be true that… Corroboration We can also agree, and add a further point to corroborate or confirm the argument Yes, and in fact…. Yes, and what is more… I agree, and in fact one might go so far as to say… Absolutely. Actually, I would go further, and say… DISAGREEMENT Notice that you need to be very polite when disagreeing with someone in English: A: English is a difficult language to learn. B: -I am afraid I disagree with you: some languages are even more difficult, I think. - TRUE, but the grammar is quite easy. -Yes, but it’s not so difficult as Russian. -Do you think so? Actually, I find it quite easy. The commonest ways to express disagreement are as follows: Yes, that’s quite true, but… I’m not sure I quite agree. Well, you have a point there, but… Perhaps, but I don’t think that… I see what you mean, but… I am afraid I can’t agree with you there.
More formal ways I cannot go along with that. Well, I think I would take issue with that I wholly and totally disagree Asking for Opinions Do you agree that . . .? Can you really believe that . . .? How do you respond to the fact/opinion that . . .? Responding to Opinions I'm not sure exactly, but . . . It's hard for me to believe it, but . . . Generally speaking, I feel that . . . Asking for clarification Would you mind repeating that, please? I’m sorry, what do you mean by …? I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that . Sorry, I don’t quite understand. That’s exactly how I feel. Hesitating Expressions Well, actually . . . Let's see now . . . Well, let me think . . . Yes, that's a good question . . . Umm… as I was saying… Hmmm, it’s on the tip of my tongue … Framing an Argument The real question is, . . . I mean, you'd have to agree that . . . The point I want to make . . . Let me just pose a question: . . . I would say specifically that . . . The thing we need to look at is . . . Opening Phrases Well, there's no simple answer to that . . . Well . . . that's a complicated issue . . . Hmm . . . that's a tough one . . . Follow-up Phrases You might say . . . (but you could also say . . .) One way to look at it is . . . (another way . . .) You could think that . . . (but perhaps . . .) Similarity Likewise, Similarly,
. . . is similar to . . . in that . . .
Contrast In contrast, However, . . . is different from . . . in that . . . Phrases for Expressing Doubts or Reservations That's unclear. I think . . . Yes, but . . . Who knows if . . . I can see what you're getting at, but . . . I have some doubts about that. For example, . . . The thing I question is whether . . .