Agreeing and Disagreeing in English: Useful Expressions You Must Learn

The act of agreeing and disagreeing is part of everyone’s daily conversation in any language. Every day, we disagree at home, at school, in the office, when we are together with our friends, or even with strangers.

Simplistically, agreeing with someone means to approve their opinion, statement, or action. Disagreeing, on the contrary, is the opposite of agreeing, because of the prefix dis-, which means “not/the opposite of.”

Now, if you want to make agreeing and disagreeing easy in English, learning some expressions is essential. Additionally, it is also necessary to learn some to ensure that you don’t end up getting caught in unhealthy argumentation and fight with the person you are talking to.

Clearly, agreements and disagreements are a big part of most discussions. Learning some simple ways to agree and disagree in English will help you improve your conservation skills and be able to take part in discussions with native English speakers.

In this article, I’ll be teaching you some basic expressions on how to agree and disagree politely in English.

Can’t get enough? Let’s learn some simple yet useful expressions for agreeing and disagreeing.

Common Expressions Used to Show Agreement

1. Absolutely! / Definitely! / Of Course!

These words express a strong agreement with another person.

Examples:

Do you think learning English is very important?

Absolutely!

Do you believe that honesty is the best policy?

Definitely!

Will you buy this dress if you have extra cash?

Of course!

2. I also think so.

You can use this simple phrase to show you completely agree with someone.

Examples:

The sky is cloudy. I think we better bring umbrellas to avoid getting wet if the rain falls.

I also think so.

She better study hard if she wants to pass the test.

I also think so.

3. I agree with you a hundred percent. / I agree with you entirely.

We use these statements to express complete agreement with someone.

Examples:

I’d rather spend money on food than on alcohol.

I agree with you a hundred percent.

He’s been sick for two days now. I don’t think he’ll make it today.

I agree with you entirely.

4. You can say that again!

This shows a very strong agreement. Usually, people don’t take this phrase literally (word for word) and don’t actually repeat what they just said.

Examples:

To be happy and positive always, we must focus on things we can control and not on what we can’t`.

You can say that again!

Nothing beats loving yourself first more than anyone else.

You can say that again!

5. That’s so true! Examples:

Going to the gym always keeps me energized and alive all the time.

That’s so true! It makes me energized and alive too!

I prefer sleeping to going to the club one weekend.

That’s so true! Sleeping is way better than going to the club one weekend.

6. I was just going to say that!

Examples:

It was freezing yesterday!

I was just going to say that!

They all admire Beyonce’s dancing talent.

I was just going to say that!

7. You have a point there.

Examples:

I think learning classes online even once a day is better than not doing anything at all.

You have a point there!

You look fatter than before. I think you should start dieting and do exercise daily.

You have a point there. I look like a pig and I’m getting worried about my size now.

8. Tell me about it!

We use this slang term to agree with someone’s thought or opinion. Although it’s acceptable, we don’t really use this phrase in informal situations.

Examples:

The COVID-19 pandemic is really affecting businesses globally.

Tell me about it!

I wish I could find a job that pays a higher salary and start my dream business.

Tell me about it!

9. I have no objections.

This is perhaps one of the weaker phrases we use to agree with someone in English. Usually, people say this when they’re not really sure about something but see no reason why they should oppose it either.

Examples:

The Philippines truly has the most beautiful attractions in the whole world.

I have no objections to this. The Philippines has amazing beaches.

We should take a break for 30 minutes and have a coffee.

I have no objections to that plan. I’m ready for a break whenever you are.

Common Expressions Used to Show Disagreement

1. I beg to differ.

We use this phrase to disagree with someone strongly. Despite being considered a strong form of disagreement, we use this expression in a formal and very polite phrase situation.

Examples:

Lady Gaga is the best performer of all time.

I beg to differ. While Lady Gaga is a brilliant performer, Madonna and Michael Jackson are also fantastic. Just saying.

English is a more difficult language than Chinese.

I beg to differ. English is difficult but I guess Chinese is the most difficult of all the languages.

2. No way!

This is an informal way to disagree. Besides, we also use this expression to express a feeling of surprise and disbelief.

Examples:

My friend can finish 5 kilograms of meat in just one meal!

No way!

I bought this jewelry for only $20.

No way!

3. Yes, but…

We use this phrase to show partial agreement with some points, but not in total agreement with the other party involved.

Examples:

I think you ought to buy a new phone since yours has scratches already.

Yes, but I don’t have the budget for a new phone this time.

We should buy new furniture for our bedroom.

Yes, but we no longer have enough space inside.

4. To be honest, I don’t agree with that.

We use this expression to disagree with someone politely.

Examples:

We should retrench some staff since we don’t need such a workforce this time.

To be honest, I don’t agree with that. I think we better keep them and let them do other necessary staff for us to get things done efficiently.

Cats are more adorable pets than dogs.

To be honest, I don’t agree with that. I know cats are cute but dogs are cuter and more respectful pets than cats.

5. That’s not always true. / That’s not entirely true.

Examples:

Drinking tea every morning is the best way to stay healthy.

That’s not entirely true. You must also do exercise and have a healthy breakfast.

Celebrities and other rich people are the happiest people.

That’s not always true. In fact, they have the darkest and hardest lives of normal people.

6. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that’s correct.

We use this expression to show a firmer but more formal way of a disagreement.

Examples:

It’s okay not to be sexy when you’re already married.

As a matter of fact, I don’t think that’s correct.

All people work better when they’re alone.

As a matter of fact, I don’t think that’s correct.

7. You can’t be serious!

We use this expression to disagree with someone informally and strongly. Moreover, this form of disagreement also expresses disbelief.

Examples:

I think books are no longer useful for us now since we can read almost everything online.

You can’t be serious!

There’s no use in saving money.

You can’t be serious!

Other expressions for Agreeing and Disagreeing

Agreeing

That’s right!

Exactly!

Me too!

Yes, I agree!

I totally agree!

That’s right!

I couldn’t agree more!

I see exactly what you mean!

You’re right. That’s a good point.

Disagreeing

I don’t agree!

I totally disagree!

Absolutely not!

That’s not right!

I’m not sure about that.

Partly agreeing

I agree up to a point, but …

I see your point, but …

That’s partly true, but …

I’m not so sure about that.

It is always a good idea to justify your opinions. Don’t just say ‘I agree’, but say ‘I agree because I think that … (explain your reason).’

Agreeing and Disagreeing: So do I/ Neither do I/ Nor do I

Normally, we use fixed expressions like the ones we have above for agreeing and disagreeing. However, we can also use so, neither and nor. In order for you to use them correctly, you just need to remember some basic grammar rules. Here’s what you need to remember.

We use “So do I” if we agree with a positive statement:

We use so + auxiliary/modal verb + pronoun:

‘I prefer coffee to tea.’

‘So do I.’

We use “Nor/Neither do I”  if we agree with a negative statement:

We use nor/neither + auxiliary/modal verb + pronoun:

“I don’t like spicy foods.’

‘Nor do I.’ or ‘Neither do I.’

To disagree with a positive statement:

We use pronoun + auxiliary/modal verb + not (-n’t):

“I like black coffee with creamer and sugar.’

‘I don’t.’

To disagree with a negative statement:

We use pronoun + auxiliary/modal verb:

‘I don’t chocolate and strawberry cake.’

‘I do.

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