Learning English is not just about grammar and vocabulary. How to use English in various real-life situations is also essential for your study. In this article, let’s learn how to disagree in English. There are both informal and formal cases to apply depending on your needs. Let’s take a look at these simple disagreement phrases, shall we?

Useful phrases to disagree in English

Disagree in informal circumstances

Here are some short and simple phrases that are frequently used in common conversation. However, be aware that you should only use them when talking with your friends, especially not for serious conversation.

1. Speak for yourself…

/spik fɔr jərˈsɛlf/

Usage: A way to say that this is just someone’s own opinion, not yours. This is a very informal and somehow rude expression, used to emphasize that your opinion is completely different from the other’s.

Examples:

“Too crowded! I think we should come back here tomorrow”

Speak for yourself! Today is the last sale day, so I can’t miss it!

2. Don’t make me laugh/Are you kidding?/You must be joking!

/doʊnt meɪk mi læf/

/ɑr ju ˈkɪdɪŋ?/

/ju mʌst bi ˈʤoʊkɪŋ/

Usage: A humorous way to say that you don’t agree with someone, and you think that opinion is abnormal/unbelievable

Examples:

Me: “I think I will stop wasting money on cosmetics”

My friend: “Don’t make me laugh!”

3. Absolutely not / Of course not

/ˌæbsəˈlutli nɑt/

/ʌv kɔrs nɑt/

Usage: A short way to show your disagreement with someone’s opinion.

Examples:

– “Do you think I will fail this class?”

– “Of course not! You are much better than I am.”

Disagree in formal circumstances

This is for serious debates and conversations. To make people comprehend and pay attention to our thoughts thoroughly, we must respect them first. The phrases should start by stating that you understand and take their opinions. The next part is giving your disagreement. So to say, you should express the opposing view indirectly to show respect for others.

disagree in English
Formal discussions, debates use more complicated phrases

Here are some examples:

1. I see what you’re saying, but…

/aɪ si wʌt jʊr ˈseɪɪŋ bʌt/

Usage: This is one of the most commonly used expressions. First, listeners are able to know that you understand their viewpoint. Second, after “but” you can give your disagreeing opinion. The other phrases below have similar usage but with different expressing. Let’s take a look and note them down!

Examples:

  • I see what you’re saying, but I don’t find it convincing enough.

2. I understand where you’re coming from, but…

/aɪ ˌʌndərˈstænd wɛr jʊr ˈkʌmɪŋ frʌm, bʌt/

Example:

  • I understand where you’re coming from, but I have a different opinion.

3. That’s a valid point, but…

/ðæts ə ˈvæləd pɔɪnt, bʌt/

Example:

  • That’s a valid point, but I want to correct a few mistakes here.

4. I’m afraid that I can’t agree with you.

/aɪm əˈfreɪd ðæt aɪ kænt əˈgri wɪð ju/

Example:

  • Your opinion sounds interesting, but I’m afraid that I can’t totally agree with you.

5. I take your point but that isn’t the way I see it; instead, I think that…

/aɪ teɪk jʊər pɔɪnt bʌt ðæt ˈɪzənt ðə weɪ aɪ si ɪt; ɪnˈstɛd, aɪ θɪŋk ðæt/

Example:

  • I take your point but that isn’t the way I see it; instead, I think that choosing a homestay is better

6. I’m not sure I agree with you about this

/aɪm nɑt ʃʊr aɪ əˈgri wɪð ju əˈbaʊt ðɪs/

Example:

  • I’m not sure I agree with you about your solution

For the British, the common way to express disagreement is pretending to be not so sure about it. Phrases like “I’m not sure I agree with you about this” or “I don’t think I have the same opinion as you” have the real meaning as “I don’t agree”

Phrases for better persuasion

To increase certainty for your perspective, you shouldn’t just express agreement or disagreement alone. Instead, you should expand along with reasons and solutions. This is also a way to make listeners regard you more. For example, let’s learn some commonly used phrases below:

1. Instead, I think we should/could…

/ɪnˈstɛd, aɪ θɪŋk wi ʃʊd/kʊd/

Examples:

  • Instead of giving this to her parents, I think we should directly give it to her

2. My suggestion would be to…

/maɪ səgˈʤɛsʧən wʊd bi tu/

Examples:

  • My suggestion would be to hold a BBQ party outside

3. That’s not entirely true. Why don’t we…?

/ðæts nɑt ɪnˈtaɪərli tru. waɪ doʊnt wi/

Examples:

  • That’s not entirely true. Why don’t we try the second solution instead?

4. I would recommend that we…

/aɪ wʊd ˌrɛkəˈmɛnd ðæt wi/

Examples:

  • I would recommend that we choose a cheap accommodation.

5. If you ask me, I think we should…

/aɪ wʊd ˌrɛkəˈmɛnd ðæt wi/

Examples:

  • If you ask me, I think we should try a different formula

Tips on effective English learning

eJOY eXtension

So far I’ve shown you some common ways to disagree in English. Don’t skip the attached videos while reading this blog! Learning English through videos can help you absorb knowledge faster and more effective, as well as develop your listening and speaking skills.

For learning English through videos, it will be most effective if you combine using eJOY eXtension – a Chrome extension designed by eJOY team. With eJOY eXtension, you can look up meanings, pronunciations of any words while watching videos. Besides, you can save words and practice with many different games to memorize better.

Why don’t we take a look at the suggested ways to learn with eJOY below?

  • Download free eJOY eXtension for Chrome
  • Watch any videos on eJOY GO, YouTube, Netflix or Phimlearning.com
  • Bold the unknown word to look up its meaning, pronunciation and click “Add” to save for further learning

Download eJOY eXtension for free

Word Hunt

What if you are looking for a video but you only remember the dialogues? Don’t worry because Word Hunt is here for you! Just type in the Search panel the script that you remember, the subbed videos with the script you need will appear immediately. You can also “filter” videos based on various topics. Let’s try out this magical function by opening Chrome and browsing 

eJOY GO’s Word Hunt website

Exercises

Let’s watch some videos below and note down how the natives disagree in English.

Summary

Hope that through this article, you can learn some helpful phrases to convincingly disagree in English. Don’t forget to practice frequently with eJOY to get a better result. For more knowledge, you can check out the article on 8 Easy Ways to Make Suggestions in English to learn how to make suggestions.

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