BEP 327 – Expressing Opinions in English

BEP 327 - Expressing Opinions in Business English

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on expressing opinions in English.

Imagine you’re in a difficult meeting where everyone is disagreeing. Tension is high. And the boss turns to you and says “so what do you think?” In this situation, you need to express your opinion. But giving an opinion isn’t always easy, as you surely know. You’ve got to say it the right way.

But the right way has changed a bit. Ten to fifteen years ago business meetings were often quite formal. But many business English meetings today tend to be more informal. And you can see this change in the different ways of expressing your opinion in English. Sometimes we need to be cautious, while at other times we might want to be more direct or stronger. And there’s still a difference between giving opinions in a group setting and speaking informally.

When we want to be informal, we are often more direct. We say exactly what we think. But when we’re being formal or cautious, we tend to add words and expressions to soften our opinions. We also use words like “might” and “could” instead of “must” and “should.” Overall, we try not to sound too strong or direct.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a conversation between Kerry, Nick, Gregory, and Lola. Their company hired a freelance writer to do some work, but the writer hasn’t communicated with them lately. Kerry is asking the group for their opinions about what they should do.

Listening Questions

1. How does Kerry ask Vincent for his opinion near the start of the meeting?
2. What expression does Gregory use to introduce his strong opinion?
3. What is one expression that Lola uses to make her opinion careful or cautious?

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