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Ways to Agree – Level Up Your English – Video

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by Gina Mares on March 27, 2021 , Comments Off on Ways to Agree – Level Up Your English – Video

Learning English takes a lot of time and work. Do you agree? If so, what can you say? Actually, you could use very simple language. You could just say ‘yes’, or even say nothing, and just nod your head! You could say ‘I agree’. But, did you know that there are many other phrases you can use to show how much or how little you agree?

In this lesson, you’ll learn a range of language you can use to express agreement in English. Are you bored of using the same words and phrases again and again? You’ll see how to increase the variety of conversational language you can use in this class.

QUIZ: Agreeing

Test how well you know the different ways to agree by trying this quiz. There are 20 questions.

When you have finished, click ‘Finish Quiz’ to see your score. Then, you can have another go by reloading the page, or click ‘View Questions’ to see the correct answers.

Katie: I loved Amanda’s casserole tonight. It was delicious!
Rich: I know, right! It was so good. I was completely full, and I still couldn’t stop eating.
K: I think she should make it for the potluck next month. It’ll be a favourite, for sure!
R: I’m with you on that one. Everyone will love it!
K: I’ll send her a text to tell her how much we liked it.

Family dinner image

Notice that here neither person used the word ‘agree’, yet it’s clear that they *do* agree. You can say ‘I know’ or ‘I know, right?’ to express agreement. Tone is important here; you need to sound enthusiastic when using this phrase. If you say ‘I know, right’ [robotic], then it doesn’t work. But, with correct intonation: ‘I know, right?’ [enthusiastic] it works.

Learn more about intonation in this Oxford Online English lesson: Using Intonation in English.

You heard one more phrase to express agreement here. Do you remember?

You heard ‘I’m with you on that one.’ ‘I’m with you’ is another way to say ‘I agree with you.’ It’s slightly more conversational; you probably wouldn’t use it in writing, and definitely not in formal writing. Learn more about this topic in this OOE lesson on formal and informal English.

Rich: Goodness, it’s windy today!
Katie: You’re telling me! I almost lost my hat this afternoon.
R: Come on, we’d better go inside and warm up.
K: Great minds think alike! I could sure do with a hot cup of tea right now.

Here’s a phrase you heard, but there’s a mistake…

  • You’re saying me!

Do you remember the correct phrase?It was: ‘you’re telling me!’

You’re telling me!This shows that you completely agree.But that’s not the only form of agreement that popped up in that conversation. Did you hear the other one? You heard: ‘great minds think alike’. Consider this for a moment. What do you think it means? Well, in the literal sense it means ‘we’re both really clever’ but it’s just a humorous way to say that you’ve both reached the same conclusion. It’s a light-hearted saying, so you can try it out with your friends.

Katie: I can’t believe Sue cut her hair so short!
Rich: Yes! I was thinking the same thing! It’s weird seeing her without long hair.
K: It‘s a big change.
R: You can say that again! I get a shock every time I see her.
K: I must say though, she pulls off the look. What do you think?
R: Without a doubt.The first phrase you heard here was ‘I was thinking the same thing.’ There are other variations on this, like ‘I was thinking the same’ or ‘I had the same thought.’Did you also notice the phrase ‘you can say that again’? Does it really mean you want the person to repeat what they’ve just said? Of course not. You don’t *really* want the other person to repeat the words; it’s just an informal way to say that you totally agree.

Similarly, ‘without a doubt’ expresses complete agreement. You can also say ‘no doubt’, which has a similar idea.

But what if there is a doubt in your mind? What if the argument is factually correct … but you don’t particularly like it? What to say then?

Rich: I don’t think you should take that mountain trip this weekend. The weather forecast is predicting heavy snow. You could get stuck up there.
Katie: I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks! But, I guess you’re right…
R: I know, it’s a shame. But it’s really too dangerous. The roads get too slippery and visibility’s a problem.
K: I’m really disappointed. It would’ve been so nice to get away.
R: Well, there’s always next month.
K: I suppose so. The family will be so disappointed.

Could you tell from that conversation that I agreed with Rich but also expressed my disappointment? You can use ‘I guess you’re right’ and ‘I suppose so’ when you agree that someone is right, but you’re not happy with the situation.

You can use short versions of these, too: ‘I suppose’ and ‘I guess’.

Can you think of such an example from your own life? Maybe it’s time to replace those worn tyres on your car? Or to start the exercise routine you’ve been talking about for months? Maybe it’s time to make that phone call you promised you would but don’t really want to make? If someone suggests you do these things, you might say ‘I suppose so’. This shows that you accept the point, but you’re not excited about it.

Katie: Hey, should we go see that new action movie tonight?
Rich: Good idea! We haven’t been to the movies in a while.
K: Do you think we should invite Leanne and Luke to come along? I think they’ll enjoy it.
R: Sure, I don’t see why not.
K: It’s on at six and eight. Shall we do the eight o’clock one?
R: Fine by me!

 

Movie theater

Just a reminder: most of the ways you’re learning in this lesson to agree don’t use the word ‘agree’ at all! Here, you heard ‘good idea’. In a discussion, you can say ‘good point’ to agree with what someone says.

If someone makes a suggestion, you can agree using the phrase ‘I don’t see why not’ or ‘fine by me’. These are neutral phrases, which don’t express much enthusiasm. That doesn’t mean that you’re unenthusiastic or unhappy, just that you’re accepting someone’s idea without expressing much emotion one way or the other.

Rich: Will you go to Dan’s party with me this weekend?
Katie: Absolutely! Dan throws the best parties in town. It’s always loads of fun.
R: Exactly! He’s a great host, too.
K: For sure! He really knows how to entertain.

Here, you heard three short ways to agree enthusiastically. Can you remember all three? You heard ‘absolutely!’, ‘exactly!’ and ‘for sure!’ These are good, simple ways to show that you agree one hundred per cent with what you’ve heard.

Katie: I think AI will take over most jobs in the future, and teachers will be the first to go. What do you think?
Rich: Mmm… I agree with you up to a point; I do think AI will cause job losses, but I don’t think teachers will be replaced any time soon.
K: Why do you say that?
R: I just think other jobs are easier to automate. Teaching’s all about human contact.
K: You’ve got a point there… Maybe teaching as a profession is safe, but surely some aspects of it will be taken over by technology.

Here, the speakers partly agreed with each other. This is common: sometimes, you may agree with *some* of what’s being said but not all of it. A good phrase to express this is ‘I agree with you up to a point’.You could also use ‘you’ve got a point there *but* …’

This is a good way to acknowledge the other person’s point of view while also showing that your perspective is at least slightly different. This is a useful tactic for business and negotiations: you try to find common ground first and then address the points of disagreement.

Talking of business, which of the phrases you’ve learned so far are more appropriate in formal settings, say with a colleague or a client?

What about ‘Great minds think alike?’ or ‘you’re telling me’? Well, like many things it depends on the context and the tone. In general, neutral phrases like ‘I agree with you’, ‘I’m in agreement’ or just ‘agreed’ will likely be better in a business meeting.

Phrases such as ‘for sure’ and ‘you can say that again’ are better for social situations.

Let’s look at some more informal ways to agree as these words and phrases will make you sound natural in your speech.

Rich: Hey! Are we still going to the beach this weekend?
Katie: You betcha! It’s going to be so much fun!
R: I’m packing extra sunscreen as I don’t want to make the same mistake as last year.
K: Ditto! My skin can’t handle too much sun either.
R: Oh, and bring a lot of fluids – you don’t want to get dehydrated out there!
K: Okey-dokey, I’ll make sure to do that.

Do you think it would be OK to answer your boss with, ‘You betcha?’ Or, ‘ditto?’ Probably not – they’re too casual, although of course it depends on your boss!

The phrases from the dialogue you just heard are very informal and should probably be avoided in a professional environment.

You betcha’ is a slangy way to agree. ‘Betcha’ is a variant of the word ‘bet’ – you can also say ‘you bet’ with the same meaning.

‘Ditto’ is another way to say, ‘me too’ or ‘same here’. They are quick and natural responses in a casual conversation.

What about okey-dokey? It’s a light-hearted form of ‘okay’ or ‘alright’ that is used in both British- and American English. However, keep in mind that this one is a little old fashioned.

So, now you’ve seen many different phrases to agree. Let’s see what you can remember! Try to complete some of the phrases from the lesson.

  1. For _ _ _ _
  2. Di_ _o
  3. You’re t _ _ _ _ _ _ me
  4. A_ _ _ _d
  5. You b_ _ _ _
  6. You’ve got a _ o _ _ _ there
  7. Without a _ _ _ _ _
  8. Ab_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  9. You can _ _ _ that _ _ _ _ _

 

How did you do? Ready to see the answers? Click or tap anywhere on this line to show them.
  1. For sure
  2. Ditto
  3. You’re telling me
  4. Agreed
  5. You betcha
  6. You’ve got a point there
  7. Without a doubt
  8. Absolutely
  9. You can say that again

So, next time you’re talking to someone in English and you want to agree, try using one of these phrases.

We hope you enjoyed the class. Thanks for watching!

Gina MaresWays to Agree – Level Up Your English – Video

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