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Material 14: Debate vocabulary


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(1) When you start saying something / contributing to a conversation
First of all, I would like to say/state that
To begin with, I
In the first line, I

(2)   What can you say instead of "I think"  
I would say/think
In my opinion
To my mind
I am of the opinion that
I hold the opinion that

(3)   When you want to stress your "personal opinion":
Personally I think
As far as I am concerned
As for me
As I take it
As far as I can see

(4)   When you "agree" or when you "don't agree":
I entirely/quite agree with you.
I agree to (with) her plan.    
I am of the same opinion.
I differ from/with you entirely.
I disagree with you: I am sure you're mistaken.
I stick to my opinion.
Let's agree to differ!

(5)   When you want to say the "opposite" of what someone else said:
on the contrary! quite the contrary! just the opposite!
That is the very opposite of what I said.
That is quite the contrary to what I said.
I maintain the contrary.
In contrast to what you said, I maintain that...........

(6)   When you are "quite sure" of something:
of course!
That goes without saying
It goes without saying that
I contend/maintain that................
It's my conviction that..................

(7)   When you want to "ask a question":
May I interrupt you?
There arises the question/point whether/if
This question raises the whole issue

(8) When you "haven't understood":
I beg your pardon. / Pardon?
Could you repeat what you've just said? But slower, please./
Could you slow down a bit?

(9) If you should want to "correct a mistake":
Excuse me (for interrupting) you should have said:"....."

(10) When you want to distinguish one aspect from the other:
on the one hand - on the other hand
in general - in particular
generally speaking             
on the whole
taken as a whole
at first sight - on second thoughts

(11) When you want to "add" something:
In addition

(12) When you want to "emphasize" something:
I would like to lay (put) emphasis (stress) on the fact that..
I just want to point out that

(13) When you want to "say the truth":
To be frank (with you)
Frankly (speaking)
To say the truth

(14) And if you are "not sure":
I don't know exactly.
I don't know for certain.

(A) General phrases:
in other words                    in this respect
to a certain degree/extent        It depends on your point of view
in brief/short
To be brief
To cut a long story short,...... 
Let me put it this
I don't know. - I don't know either.   Nor/Neither do I.

Add the following expressions to the given categories I agree with / disagree with you; I see/understand your point but ; You´ve got a point / a case there but; I´m not sure. whether …; I have doubts / reservations about ; I don´t see that working in practice. ; It may work in the short-term / in the long-term. ; I think that´s debatable. ; Prove it! ; Your argument is flawed because... ; What´s that got to do with the issue? ; You´re missing the point. ; It´s ridiculous to suggest that.... ; My feeling is.. ; If you ask me... ; As for me.... ; Bear in mind that … ; You´d better do ... ; Let´s face it.... ; In general... ; On the whole... ; As a rule.... ; It goes without saying that... ; What´s more / in addition / furthermore ; What I´m getting at is... / What I´m trying to say is.. / My point is... ; What is your point? What are you driving at? ; You´re not serious, are you? ;You must be joking! That´s nonsense / rubbish / ridiculous.



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