Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

How to Have a Friendly Argument in English

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 @ 08:49 AM

how to have a friendly argument in EnglishDo you ever feel like you want to disagree with a friend or acquaintance during a conversation in English?

Are  you afraid to do it because you don't know the correct English phrases to use to soften your statements?

You don't want to sound rude or put your friendship in jeopardy so maybe you stay quiet instead.

Well, you don't have to do that anymore!

Today I will give you 4 ways to disagree and engage in a light, friendly argument.

Keep reading to get new phrases and vocabulary words that you can start using today!






#1) "I see your point, but..."

arguing in EnglishWhen you say "I see your point" you are acknowledging what the person is saying and that shows respect to the other person.

At the same time, it is a good way to show that you disagree because it gives you a way to contrast your idea with the other person's idea.





Other ways to say this:

  • "I know what you mean, but..."
  • "I hear you (ya), but..." (this is more casual)
  • "I get what you're saying, but..."





#2) "I would agree with you in some sense, but..."


This is very similar to number 1 (above). It is a way to show them that in some ways you believe the same thing that they are saying, but you have a slightly different point of view.


Other ways to say this:

  • "I see what you mean, but...."
  • "I'm with you in some ways, but..."





#3) "I'm still not convinced."

how to argue in EnglishThis is a great way to show that even though your friend has voiced their point of view, you still don't agree.


Other ways to say this:

  • "I still can't agree with you"
  • "I'm still kind of skeptical."
  • "I still don't buy it"
  • "I still don't think so"






4) "That's just how I feel."


You might use this phrase after you have said something that you feel strongly about. If you use the word "just" it softens the phrase and makes your statement sound more personal and less confrontational.


Other ways to say this:

  • "That's just my point of view."
  • "That's just my feeling."
  • "That's just my opinion."




Do you want to learn more about these phrases and practice using them? Try our conversation program called Speakative!

You will get matched with native English conversation partner to practice communicating in specific situations.

Click on the button below to learn more!



Schedule your free trial session now!





Photo credit: Quinn.anya, Dell's Offical Flickr Page

Topics: English Conversation, Vocabulary Workshop, Cultural Competence

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