Useful English Expressions for Debate and Group Discussion

Vocabulary and expressions which are useful for ESL students participating in debates and group discussions.


1. “I’m listening to the other side.”

-  I see your point, but I think… 

-  Yes, I understand, but my opinion is that… 

-  That’s all very interesting, but the problem is that… 

-  I’m afraid I can’t quite agree with your point. 

-  I think I’ve got your point, now let me respond to it. 

-  We can see what you’re saying. Here’s my reply… 

2. “I need to say something now.”

-  I’m sorry to interrupt, but you’ve misunderstood our point. 

-  Excuse me, but that’s not quite correct. 

-  Sorry, I just have to disagree with your point. 

-  Let me just respond to that, please. 

-  Forgive me for interrupting, but I must respond to that. 

-  Hold on a moment, that’s not correct. 

-  If you would allow me to add a comment here... 

-  If you don’t mind, I’d like to take issue with what you just said. 

3. “You haven’t replied yet.”

-  The other side will have to explain why.... otherwise we win that point. 

-  We said that… but the other side has not replied to our point. 

-  I’d like to focus on two points that the other side has failed to address. 

-  There are two points that we have succeeded in establishing… 

-  I want to call your attention to an important point that our opponents have not addressed yet. 

-  I’d like to point out that there are two issues our opponents have failed to dispute, namely… 

-  I must stress again that our point has not been refuted by the other side. 

4. “Well, I think that…”

-  The first point I would like to raise is this… 

-  Our position is the following… 

-  Here’s the main point I want to raise… 

-  I’d like to deal with two points here. The first is… 

-  Our opponents have still not addressed the question we raised a moment ago… 

-  The other side has failed to answer our point about… 

-  Notice that the affirmative side has not addressed our main point. 

-  Let me just restate my position. 

-  Just to be clear, here is what I mean… 

5. “So finally, we…”

-  To sum up, here are the main points our opponents have not addressed… 

-  We pointed out that… 

-  Our opponents have claimed that… 

-  To recap the main points… 

-  Let’s sum up where we stand in this debate. 

-  Let me summarize our position in this debate. 

-  In summary, we want to point out that… 

-  Let’s see which arguments are still standing. 

-  Let’s take stock of where we are in this debate. 

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Useful English Expressions for Debate and Group Discussion

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