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When we offer an opinion, the most common phrases are “I think…” or “I feel…”. However, at postgraduate level, you will hear and be expected to produce more complex sentences. Look at these phrases. They can all be used in seminars/tutorials to express an opinion.
I definitely think that … I’m sure that… I’m convinced that… Personally, I believe… In my opinion/view,… It seems to me… I’m inclined to think that I tend to think that ….
Arguing for and against
When we offer an opinion, the most common phrases are “I think…”
If you disagree, however, you can use the following phrases:
But don’t you think that…? I see what you mean, but… But isn’t it really a question of… But, what about…? But, surely… I take your point, but, … But all the evidence suggests that… I’m afraid I can’t agree with … on this matter. I wouldn’t say that. I don’t agree at all. I don’t accept that.
Controlling a Seminar
The person controlling a seminar will usually need to ask certain questions.
What do you think about…? What are your views…? What do you feel about…? What’s your opinion of… What are your feelings about…? Have you got any comments on…? Do you have any particular views on…? Don’t you agree, …?
Part of a seminar discussion may involve interrupting other participants. However, it is important to use the correct language. Otherwise, you may seem rude. Look at the following phrases. If I could just come in here. Sorry to interrupt, but.. I’d just like to say that… Sorry, but…. Can I add here that? May I ask something?
When you take part in seminars, there will be times when you do not agree with other people taking part. It is important that you express your disagreement politely. It is considered rude to say simply” I disagree”. You would need to soften the language. I’m not so sure about that. You may be right. I don’ t think I’d say that. Yes, but don’t you think…? I can see your point, but… I think that’s debatable. Perhaps, but don’t you think that… I see what you mean, but… I agree to some extent, but It seems to me… I tend to think….
Asking for clarification
When you take part in seminars, there will be times when you do not understand the speaker. When this happens, you need to be able to ask the speakers to clarify themselves. I didn’t understand what you said about…. I’m sorry, I didn’t catch what you said about.. I’m sorry, could you repeat what you said about… What does… mean? Sorry, but I’m not quite clear on … What did you mean when you said…? Could you be more specific about …? So what you’re saying is that…? So you mean that….? Are you saying that ….?