Hi there! I am Jenna, from Wall Street English. Today we are going to learn how to disagree politely and indirectly in English. In spoken English, just saying “I disagree” is often too direct. Most English speakers use phrases that are modified to be more polite, or indirect methods to express disagreement. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to disagree without offending anyone!
Here are some expressions for polite disagreement:
A: “We’ll need to buy at least 10 new machines this year in order to keep up with the increased production.”
B: “I’m afraid I disagree. If we focus on improving the efficiency of the equipment we already have, we could avoid making new purchases.”
A: “Books are a thing of the past. The future is in online publications.”
B: “I beg to differ – a lot of people still prefer to have a book in their hands rather than read on a screen.”
A: “If everyone took shorter showers, the world’s water shortage problems would be solved.”
B: “Not necessarily. Far more water is used in the production of food, for example, than for taking showers.”
A: “Globalization is just another way for rich countries to exploit poor countries.”
B: “I don’t see it that way. I think it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, and in fact a lot of developing countries have benefited quite a bit.”
There are also informal expressions for disagreeing which are commonly used among close friends, because they could be offensive in a professional context.
A: “Titanic was Leonardo DiCaprio’s best film.”
B: “No way! Inception was so much better.”
A: “I think we should buy a new car.”
B: “You can’t be serious. We can’t afford that right now.”
That’s all for today, see you next time!