Phrases to politely oppose a viewpoint
When you want to express a different opinion or experience without offending the other person use the phrases below.
I see what you mean, but I think ___.
In my experience ___.
For me ___. (talk about an opposing experience)
Max: “I went to DelPino’s Restaurant, but I didn’t like it.“
Jane: “In my experience it was great. What was wrong with your dinner?“
Sue: “I love going to the Caribbean for winter vacation.“
Joe: “For me, going to the mountains is so much more fun.“
Change the subject
Use these phrases when you want to change the conversation or go back to prior information.
Before, you mentioned ___. What did you mean? (Something that was said earlier in the conversation)
Can you tell me more about ___?
That reminds me of ___. (a past experience, something that happened, a news
story, a person, etc.)
Speaking of ___. (Insert the main topic of the conversation and add your
There’s something else I wanted to ask you.
I know this is changing the subject, but ___. (Add a comment or question)
Matt: “Going on vacation in the winter is much nicer than going in the summer because there are not as many tourists.“
John: “Speaking of vacations, we’re going to Mexico next month!“
Max: “I just watched the movie Frozen with my kids.“
Sue: “Speaking of that movie, I’m reading a biography about Walt Disney.“
Jane: “My day has been so busy so far. I’ve gone to school, the mall, the library, and the grocery store…“
Steve: “I know this is changing the subject, but I just watched the cooking channel last night, and now I’m so inspired to cook something new. Do you watch that channel?“
How to end the conversation
To kindly end the conversation, mix a phrase from group A with a phrase from group B below.
I have to go now.
I have to run. (This means, “I have to go“)
I’m going to go now.
It was great talking to you.
I’m glad I ran into you.
I hope to see you soon.
It was nice to meet you.
It was great seeing you.
Joan: I have to go now. I hope to see you soon!
Max: See you soon!
Beth: I have to run. I’m glad I ran into you!
Pam: It was great seeing you again!
As you have read, there are many phrases and questions here to help you keep a conversation going. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to remember them all at once! Choose one phrase or question from each section and begin to use it daily. When you are comfortable, choose another to practice.
Starting and maintaining a conversation in any language can be difficult, especially when it is not your native language. With the right tools, you can learn how to express yourself and begin to confidently hold longer conversations in English.