LESSON 4: Expressing your approval and disapproval in a polite way

Download LESSON 4 as a PDF file.


?Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.?


  • How do you understand the Oscar Wilde?s quote ?
  • Have you ever experienced anything similar?





Tell your friend / colleague about the following facts, using the verb ?agree? with proper prepositions:

– your boss gave his consent to shorter working hours
– your boss has the same opinion with your colleague on the starting date of the project
– your colleague shares your opinion on the positive changes at your workplace


And answer the questions:

1. Which words does Ronnie advise not to use when giving your opinion?
2. Why shouldn?t we use those words while giving our opinion?
3. In what situation can we use ?for me??
4. Which word gives you time to think about your opinion and expand on your opinion a bit more?
5. Why is the phrase It was ?interesting? useful and why do we have to be careful with it?



Order the phrases into the proper columns.

  • Personally,
  • I think? That’s true.
  • What I mean is?
  • I don’t think so either.
  • So do I.
  • Of course.
  • That’s different.
  • I’m afraid I have to disagree.
  • I believe that?
  • Yes, but don’t you think?
  • Exactly.
  • I’d suggest that?
  • I’d say that?
  • I’m not so sure about that.
  • As far as I’m concerned?
  • You’re absolutely right.
  • That’s not the same thing at all.
  • I’m sorry to disagree with you, but?
  • On the contrary?
  • Yes, I agree.
  • That’s not entirely true.
  • I don’t agree with you.
  • That’s a good point.
  • I’d like to point out that?
  • Speaking for myself? I think so too.
  • In my opinion?
  • However?
  • In my experience?
  • I’d go along with that.
Personal point of view Agreeing with an opinion Disagreeing with an opinion


Personal point of view Agreeing with an opinion Disagreeing with an opinion
In my experience? Of course. That’s different.
As far as I’m concerned? You’re absolutely right. I don’t agree with you.
Speaking for myself? Yes, I agree. However?
In my opinion? I think so too. That’s not entirely true.
Personally, I think? That’s a good point. On the contrary?
I’d say that? Exactly. I’m sorry to disagree with you, but?
I’d suggest that? I don’t think so either. Yes, but don’t you think?
I’d like to point out that? So do I. That’s not the same thing at all.
I believe that? I’d go along with that. I’m afraid I have to disagree.
What I mean is? That’s true. I’m not so sure about that.
  • I couldn?t agree with you more.
  • I?m afraid, I don?t agree.
  • Can?t say I don?t agree.
  • ?m sorry, but I just can?t agree.
  • I?m with you on this.
  • Sorry, but I really can?t agree to that.
  • I accept your point.
  • Hmm, I wonder if it?s true that?.
  • I?m 100% with you on this!
  • Hmm, I?m not sure it can work like that.
  • I agree with you to a point, but?
  • Hmm, I?m not sure whether it?s possible.
  • I understand what you are saying, however?
  • I don?t think that?s such a good idea. (NOT It?s a bad idea.)
  • I see what you?re saying, but?
  • I don?t think I can agree with you. (NOT I disagree with you.)
  • I agree up to a point, but I?m not sure it?s the best idea. (NOT it?s the worst idea!)





Source: http://www.targettraining.eu/meeting-phrases-polite-diplomatic/


  1. Listen and be understanding
  2. Avoid negative words – instead use positive words in a negative form
  3. Say the magic word: Sorry
  4. Use little words to soften your statements
  5. Avoid 'finger pointing' statements with the word 'you'

Source: http://www.londonschool.com/language-talk/language-tips/5-tips-for-polite-and-diplomatic-language/

Watch this video to revise phrases for agreeing and disagreeing:

Practice the polite expressions for agreeing and disagreeing by using the phrases from vidoes and exercises above, in the following situations. Express your opinion: agree or disagree.

We definately have to make changes to this project. It isn?t as requested by our Client.
There are a lot of things that need to be changed at our workplace.
I think our boss is really great! He is the best boss I?ve ever had!
I think dismissing people is not the best solution in this situation
Jina reached her sales target. She was working very hard last season.
You have to make a lot of efforts to find a new Client.
I think, smoking outside our building should be prohibited.
I also think, that smoking in all public places should be banned.
I think this meeting was a complete disaster.
Oh, that was a very successful and interesting conference!

Work with your friend/colleague and practice the phrases in situations above. Try to keep the conversation going for a bit longer. Improvise.