Suppose you are with a group of friends discussing the greatest inventions of the 20th century. One friend says, “I think the computer was the best invention. There’s no question about it.” Another friend says, “I disagree! Have you forgotten that airplanes exist?” The first one responds with, “Actually, today’s airplanes could not operate without computers.”
Knowing how to express your opinion in English is valuable whether you are speaking or writing. In today’s article we will look at phrases you can use to share your point of view.
Many phrases are suitable in everyday speech and some types of writing, such as on blogs and personal websites. You have probably already seen or used some of these phrases:
•In my opinion… and
•I would say…
For example, imagine you have your own food website. Today you’re writing or talking about the world’s best street food. You might say:
In my opinion, Bangkok has the best street food.
But suppose you wanted to make the statement stronger. You can do it by adding an adverb or adjective.
•I really think…
•I strongly believe…
•I truly feel… or
•In my honest opinion…
In addition, giving reasons for your opinion adds strength to the claim. Let’s hear the street food statement again:
In my honest opinion, Bangkok has the best street food. I have never seen more choices of what to eat – and everything I’ve tried has been delicious!
Next, let’s look at a few phrases that are more common in formal situations. You might, for example, hear one of these at a business meeting or a conference, or in a formal paper:
•From my point of view…
•From my perspective…
•In my view… or
•It seems to me that…
Here’s an example:
In my view, cruise ships should be banned. They produce massive amounts of waste and use the dirtiest fuel in the world.
Though phrases like “In my view…” are usually more formal than ones like “I think,” there is no rule for where or when you can use them. It’s often a matter of personal choice.
Asking for opinions
So, imagine you’ve expressed yourself. But what about the opinion of others? Often, when we express an opinion or suggestion, it’s a good idea to ask other people for theirs. Phrases like these help show our desire to hear from others:
•What do you think of…?
•What are your thoughts on…?
•How do you feel about…? and
•What’s your opinion on…?
You can use these questions in many kinds of situations. You might ask, for instance:
What’s your opinion on Futbol Club Barcelona?
How do you feel about the new art director?
What are your thoughts on tonight’s activities?
You’ve probably observed that, in real life, many people state opinions without using an opening phrase. They might just say, “Summer is better than winter,” for example. Though this is acceptable with friends or family or for lighter subjects, avoid doing this in professional situations or for heavier subjects.
Wow, that was a lot of information, wasn’t it!? The good news is that you don’t need to memorize it. In my opinion, you should choose only a few phrases that feel most natural to you and practice them whenever you can.