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  • Hello everyone. My name is Emma, and in today's lesson we are going to look at ways to give

  • your opinion. So this video is very useful for anyone who will be writing the IELTS exam,

  • the TOEFL exam, as well as anyone who wants to become a better speaker or a better writer.

  • Okay, so in this video we will first look at some common expressions we use to give

  • our opinion, and we will look at ways to strengthen these expressions to make them stronger and

  • to show that we feel very strongly or not so strong about something.

  • Okay, so let's begin. I have here the most common way to give your opinion: "I think..."

  • So why do I have an "x" here? Well the problem is students overuse "I think..." "I think

  • this, I think that, I think this, I think that." It gets very boring. And so if you're

  • doing the TOEFL or the IELTS, the problem with using "I think..." is you're going to

  • get a lower mark because that's considered basic English usage. So in order to get a

  • higher mark or if you're just interested in becoming a better speaker or writer, I've

  • listed some expressions that will really help aid you in expressing your opinion. So let's

  • look at some other expressions you can use. And these all pretty much mean "I think..."

  • So the first expression: "As far as I'm concerned," okay? "As far as I'm concerned,...". Okay,

  • one question you often get on IELTS, on TOEFL is: "Should boys and girls go to the same

  • school or should they go to different schools?" What I could say or I could write: "As far

  • as I'm concerned, boys and girls should go to separate schools." Okay? One thing that's

  • important to note: there's a comma. "As far as I'm concerned," and then you write your

  • opinion. Okay? Our next expression: "In my opinion,..." This

  • is better than "I think" -- it's still a bit overused though. So I would recommend using

  • some of these other expressions. But "In my opinion,..." is still okay to use, just don't

  • use it too often. "In my opinion, in my opinion," -- I guess if we use the same example as before

  • --, "boys and girls should go to separate schools." Okay?

  • Our next expression, again, it means the same thing as "I think...", it's just a nicer way

  • to say it. I've given you two options. You can say: "It seems to me that..." or "It appears

  • to me that..." These are excellent to use in writing. So if you're doing the TOEFL essay

  • where you give your opinion on something, agree or disagree essay, or the IELTS essay

  • this is a good one to use. One question that's often asked in the TOEFL

  • and I think also the IELTS: "Do parents make the best teachers? Do you agree or disagree?"

  • So I could say: "It seems to me that parents do make the best teachers.", "It seems to

  • me that parents do not make the best teachers." Notice one other thing about this expression,

  • whereas we have a comma here and here, "It seems to me that..." there's no comma. Okay?

  • So any time we have "that", you don't have to worry about a comma.

  • Okay, our next expression: "I would argue that..." So again, we have "that", no comma.

  • "I would argue that the death penalty is not a good form of punishment." Often times, the

  • TOEFL may ask you if you agree or disagree with the death penalty. You could use: "I

  • would argue that the death penalty is the best way to deal with criminals." So it all

  • depends on your opinion, but you can either agree or disagree with this statement.

  • Another way to say "I think...": "From my point of view," or "From my perspective,"

  • Okay? Notice we have a comma for both of these. "From my point of view," okay, so now I'm

  • not going to use an IELTS or TOEFL example, I'm going to use a superhero example. "From

  • my point of view, Cyclops is a horrible superhero." So again, just for anyone who likes to argue,

  • this is a good one to use. The last one is a very high formal way of

  • saying your opinion. "I am inclined to believe that..." So you wouldn't use this with your

  • friends. If you have an argument with your friends, maybe you're talking about the best

  • place to live in the world or the best place to travel to, if you said: "I'm inclined to

  • believe that France is a great place to visit." Your friends would find your language too

  • formal. But you can use this in writing, in formal writing. If you're writing the TOEFL

  • or the IELTS, you can use this expression. And again, at the end we have "that", we don't

  • have a comma. Okay? So be aware that if you use any of these expressions with "that",

  • when you write them you do not need a comma whereas for the other ones that don't have

  • "that", use a comma and then write if you agree, or disagree, or what you think.

  • Okay, so now we're going to look at some commonly spoken expressions. These were written expressions

  • -- or you can speak them --, now we're just going to look at some spoken expressions.

  • Okay, so in the IELTS there is a speaking section where you talk to an examiner and

  • what they're looking for is normal language use. So they want you to use everyday language,

  • everyday expressions when you speak and give your opinion. They don't really want you to

  • use very high academic, high level, pompous language; I don't know a better way to put

  • it. They don't want you to use complicated language. They want you to use everyday language

  • when you talk to the examiner. So I have here four expressions. So whether

  • you want to improve your speaking and become a better conversationalist with your friends

  • or do well on the IELTS speaking section, these four expressions are really good for

  • giving your opinion when you say it, not when you write it.

  • So the first one I have: "If you ask me, _______." "If you ask me,

  • Star Trek is better than Star Wars." Now of course that's not an academic example; they

  • would never ask anything like that on the IELTS. They'd probably ask you: "Do you think

  • books are better than movies?" Or "Do you think living in a city is better than living in a town?"

  • Another way to give your opinion: "To be honest, _______."

  • -"To be honest, I think living in a city is better than living in a small town."

  • -"Personally speaking, I think city life has more to offer than country life."

  • -"From what I gather, people enjoy living in a city more than they enjoy living in the

  • country." Okay? So these are all just spoken ways to

  • give your opinion.

  • Okay, another way to score high on both the TOEFL and the IELTS, this has to do with both

  • the written section and the speaking section, is to show contrast with other people's opinions.

  • Okay? So instead of just saying: "I think that this is good because...", "I think that

  • is horrible because..." A better thing to do is contrast your opinion with other people's

  • opinions who you disagree with. So you may say something like: "Some people may disagree

  • with me, but as far as I'm concerned... As far as I'm concerned..." --what's a good example?

  • -- "Travelling by car is better than travelling by airplane." Okay?

  • And when you contrast, words that they'll be looking for that will help boost your mark:

  • "although", "even though". So these are contrast words that can really help you in writing.

  • So you could say: "Although some people may disagree with me," -- you get rid of the "but"

  • if you use one of these two words. -- "Although some people may disagree with me, as far as

  • I'm concerned watching Lord of the Rings, all three episodes back-to-back is a bad idea.",

  • "Even though some people may think that making a lot of money is great, I think that there

  • are other important things to life."

  • So these are just various opinions. They ask you all sorts of different things on the IELTS

  • and the TOEFL. But if you can use "although", "even though"... and it's two parts. So the

  • first part is what other people think, comma if you're writing this, and then you have

  • an opinion expression: "as far as I'm concerned...", "in my opinion...", "I believe..." and then

  • you say what you think. So this will really help your IELTS or TOEFL mark.

  • So sometimes when you're asked your opinion, people want to know if you agree or disagree

  • with a statement, and they want to know: how much do you agree or disagree? So one question

  • you will often see on IELTS or TOEFL, they'll say a statement, so for example: "Do you think

  • people with more money are more successful in life?", "To what extent..." -- or sorry,

  • they'll say: "People in life with more money are more successful." So they'll say a statement,

  • and then they'll ask: "To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement?"

  • It's a very common essay question in both the TOEFL and IELTS.

  • So what we're going to look at now is: how can we add a degree to our answer for our

  • opinion? Okay? So where you see the blue: "somewhat", "partially", "I suppose I _______",

  • I'll go over those in a minute, but these are all ways to say: "Uh, I kind of agree."

  • So you're not strong in what you're saying; you're kind of on the fence. Whereas if you

  • see this red line: "I am confident that...", "absolutely", "totally", "strongly", "completely",

  • this section is when you're very sure of your opinion; you feel very strongly about something.

  • Okay? So let me give you some examples. So the example I just gave: "People with more

  • money are more successful. Do you agree or disagree, and to what extent do you agree

  • or disagree?" So what I could say is: "I somewhat agree." Meaning not 100%, but I agree a little

  • bit; I somewhat agree. "I partially agree." Could also say: "I suppose I agree with that

  • statement." "I suppose I agree that people with more money are more successful." But

  • again, this shows you're not 100% sure.

  • Whereas if I say: "I am confident that people with more money are more successful." It means

  • you're sure. "I absolutely agree that people with more money are more successful." In this

  • case, with "absolutely", you probably wouldn't write this, but this is a good thing to say

  • to maybe an IELTS speaker. Same with "totally" -- it's not formal English, you wouldn't use

  • this in an essay, but in speech you might say: "I totally agree with that statement."

  • "Strongly" can be used in an essay. "I strongly agree that teachers are very important to

  • the education system." "Completely", again, like "totally" and "absolutely" is... you

  • wouldn't use it in academic writing so much. You would use it in speech if in the IELTS

  • exam somebody asked you your opinion, you might use "completely", "totally", or "absolutely".

  • So the reason I'm telling you that these are good... you can get higher marks on both the

  • TOEFL and the IELTS if you add a degree to your opinion. So instead of just saying: "I

  • think..." it's good to use one of the expressions I taught you. "As far as I'm concerned,",

  • "If you ask me," these are all great expressions, as well as it's good to give a degree to the

  • expression. -"How much do you agree?" -"Strongly", "Somewhat", "Completely". Okay? So if you

  • ask me, anyone who uses these tips, they are going to improve their mark for the IELTS

  • and the TOEFL. I am confident of that.

  • If you want practice to make sure that you understand these expressions and can use them

  • correctly in a sentence, come visit our website at www.engvid.com. Okay? Until next time,

  • good luck and take care.

Hello everyone. My name is Emma, and in today's lesson we are going to look at ways to give

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IELTS & TOEFL - How to give your opinion

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    Zenn posted on 2013/09/09
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