Better ways to express opinions in English. On this page, we will look at 5 ways you can present an opinion in English in a softer, less aggressive way. Here’s an example of a bad way to present an opinion.
John’s ideas are stupid.
Now let’s look at 5 better ways to express opinion in English!
#1: Use ‘not‘ + a positive word
Instead of using a negative word to express your opinion, it is often better to turn the sentence around. Here are some examples:
- John’s ideas are stupid. > John’s ideas are not so good.
- This tastes horrible! > This doesn’t taste very nice.
- They are lazy and useless. > They aren’t very industrious or useful.
#2: Avoid being dogmatic (presenting an opinion like it’s a fact) by using an introductory statement
You can soften an opinion by making sure it is presented as your point of view, not a fact that everyone has to agree with. Here are some useful words to present your opinions:
- In my opinion,…
- I feel that…
- I think that…
- From my point of view,…
- Personally, I would say that…
- From my perspective,…
- If you ask me, I think…
Here are some examples:
- John’s ideas are stupid. > I feel that John’s ideas are stupid.
- This tastes horrible! > I think that this tastes horrible!
- They are lazy and useless. > From my point of view, they are lazy and useless.
#3: Say that something is generally true, not necessarily always true.
If something is not always true, you can add an expression that indicates you think it is mostly always true. For are some phrases you can use to talk more generally (note that each of these phrases should be followed by a comma):
- As a rule,
- More often than not,
- On the whole,
- All things considered,
- All in all,
- For the most part,
- By and large,
- To all intents and purposes,
- Commonly / Typically,
And here are some example sentences combining all three of the rules above:
- John’s ideas are stupid. > On the whole, I think that John’s ideas are not so good.
- This tastes horrible! > All things considered, I think that this doesn’t taste very nice.
- They are lazy and useless. > By and large, they aren’t very industrious or useful.
#4: Qualifying your points
When giving opinions, you might also want to qualify them – that is, to add reservations, circumstances or limits to something you’ve said. For example:
- I’d like to camping at the weekend (opinion), provided it doesn’t rain (qualification).
- If it doesn’t cost too much (qualification), the boss thinks we should buy the larger model (opinion)
- I think it could be a very successful exhibition (opinion), depending on the number of people who come and visit (qualification).
#5: Avoid certain language
There are some words in English that are naturally negative and aggressive, so try to avoid them if you are looking to express opinion without getting overly angry or emotional. Here are some words that you need to be careful of:
- Thick (meaning stupid)
This is not an exhaustive list of words to avoid to express opinions in English well, so if you think of any other words we should add then let us know in the comments section below.