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How to Disagree in English

Disagree means to have a different opinion. If we disagree with someone, then we do not have the same opinion as them. We think that what they say or think is incorrect.

Listening to opinions and sharing our own opinions is a key part of the English language. So, it is important for us to be able to express disagreement in English.

There are many short expressions that we can use to show that we disagree.
  • I don't agree.
  • I completely disagree.
  • That is not right.
  • I'm not sure about that.
  • I don't think so.
  • I beg to differ.
  • That's not always true.
  • That is not always the case.
  • I feel the opposite.
  • I respectfully disagree.
  • I have a completely different opinion.
  • I don't see it that way.
Here are some informal expressions that show you disagree.
  • I totally disagree.
  • You must be joking!
  • You have got to be kidding me.
  • No way.
  • Impossible.
When we disagree with someone, we want to do it in a polite way. So, we should show the other person that we understand them and that we heard their opinion. We can also pretend that we kind of agree with them. Here are some sentence patterns to use to politely disagree.
  • I see what you are saying, but...
  • I understand why you think that, but...
  • I see your point, but in my opinion...
  • I get why you think that, but from my perspective...
  • I understand why you think that, but from where I am sitting...
  • I get where you are coming from, but I think...
If you disagree with someone, it is usually a good idea to give an explanation or an alternative.
  • I disagree that we need to hire a new employee. Instead, I think we should all take on a little more work and try to eliminate unnecessary work.
  • I understand what you are saying, but I don't think the best way to stimulate the economy is by raising taxes on the rich. Instead, I think we should cut taxes.
We can use the verb "disagree" with the following.

1. with + person/thing
  • I disagree with Tim.
  • He disagrees with Sue.
  • They disagree with the newspaper article.
2. about + (issue/topic)
  • I disagree with Tim about everything.
  • He disagrees with Sue about the marketing strategy.
  • They disagree about where to go on vacation.
3. that + (statement)
  • I disagree with Tim that we should sell the business.
  • He disagrees with the report that global warming is caused by humans.
  • I disagree that it is not important.
  • We disagree that he should be fired.
Here are some other sentence patterns that we can use when we disagree with an idea or action. We use these to show that we do not support some action or cause.
  • I'm against + (idea/issue/topic).
  • I am not sure I agree with you on + (idea/issue/topic).
  • I feel a little differently about + (idea/issue/topic).
Remember that "disagree" is a verb.
  • I am disagree.
  • I disagree = I do not agree.
  • I agree.
Also, we can use "disagree" in other verb tenses depending on what we are talking about.
  • I used to disagree with my parents about studying, but now I see that they were right.
  • She will probably disagree with your idea.
  • She disagreed at first, but later she agreed to do it.
Remember that we will usually have to explain why we agree. So, the sentences that we studied in this lesson are just the beginning.
  • I disagree that Starbucks is the best coffee shop. It is definitely a good coffee shop, but I cannot agree that it is the best. First, Starbucks is quite expensive. And second, Starbucks is so popular that most shops are usually crowded. So, it is hard to find a good seat and it is usually noisy inside.
However, sometimes we do not completely agree. We agree and disagree at the same time. We can use these sentence patterns when that happens.

1. I see what you mean, but...
  • I see what you mean, but I think it will be too expensive.
2. I agree with you, but...
  • I agree with that we need more workers, but we just don't have enough money to do it right now.
3. That/It is partly true, but...
  • It is partly true that global warming is caused by humans, but we do not know for sure if that is the only reason that the Earth's temperature is rising.
4. I see your point, but...
  • I see your point, but I can't completely agree with your solution.
Sometimes we will never be able to agree with somebody or make them agree with us. When this happens, it is best to stop talking about the issue. We can use these expressions to move on to a new topic.
  • Let's agree to disagree.
  • Let's talk about something else.
  • How about we talk about something else?
  • I guess we will have to agree to disagree.
Use this free English lesson to help you take your English skills to the next level. There are certain situations when the language that you learned in this English lesson can be very useful. Try to use one of these phrases or expressions the next time you speak English.

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