Functional Language: Useful English Phrases for Discussion and Debate

"Functional language" is language that we use to perform various "functions" such as "agreeing" or "disagreeing"


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“Functional language” is language that we use to perform various “functions” such as “agreeing” or “disagreeing”

Useful English Phrases for Discussion and Debate

1. Introduction

  • Let’s begin/start with …

2. What you think about somebody/something

  • As far as I’m concerned …
  • I think …
  • In my opinion …
  • As far as I know …
  • In my view …
  • I don’t think …
  • I don’t believe that …
  • Well, if you ask me …
  • If you want my honest opinion …
  • I’ve never come across the idea that …

3. How to agree/disagree

  • I must admit that …
  • I totally/fully/partly agree.
  • I agree/don’t agree with you.
  • I believe/don’t believe …
  • I’m convinced that …
  • The way I see it …
  • It seems to me that …
  • I wouldn’t say that …
  • I don’t think so.
  • You’re right up to a point.
  • You could be right.
  • That can’t be right.
  • I don’t agree at all.
  • As a matter of fact, …
  • That’s right/wrong.
  • Exactly.
  • I can understand …
  • It’s hard to say.
  • It’s a fact that …
  • However, …
  • That’s why …

4. Asking for clarification

  • What do you think?
  • What’s your opinion?
  • Would you like to say something?
  • What do you mean?
  • What are your ideas?
  • What are you trying to say?

5. How to interrupt politely

  • I’m sorry, but …
  • Can/May I add something?
  • Sorry to interrupt, but …

6. Other opinions

  • On the one hand … on the other hand …
  • They claim that …
  • They also say …
  • Opinion among teachers is that …
  • That’s a matter of opinion.

7. Phrases to keep a discussion going

  • Let’s get back to …
  • As we just heard …
  • Where were we?


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  1. great lesson, I coludny agree more, jeje , thank you for the different ways displayed here to go with wether a discussion or debate

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