Hey there, this is Teacher ola podcast episode 10: How to agree in English? Useful Expressions.

My name’s Ola and I’ve been teaching English through 1:1 lessons for the last 6 years.

This podcast is for you if you’re an English learner who wants to speak English with more confidence and get rid of speaking barriers. I used to have one and my tips are based on my experience. You’ll boost your vocabulary, brush up your grammar, improve your pronunciation,  see how to have tense-free conversations. Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning!

Thank you for tuning in! This episode, just like all other episodes comes to you as a lesson. After listening, take it further and download the worksheet. It’ll help you to digest and test the vocabulary covered in this episode. It’s available at teacherola.com/10. teacherola.com/10

Today I have decided to prepare for you a very practical episode.  I’m going to focus on one vocabulary element which is phrases, which you can use to express agreement. Most of them are informal, some of them are slang, there is one idiom and one phrasal verb for you.

When it comes to fighting your language barrier it’s really important to know whole phrases, not just separate vocabulary units, words. Knowing full expressions makes you feel more confident and less stressed.  Please, please don’t forget to practice talking to yourself. During your day, whenever you have an opportunity to agree with someone, try to recall in your head all the alternatives from this episode in English. If you listened to the episode number 9, about talking to yourself, you know how important it is to say these expressions out loud. Just listening won’t help you much, I’m afraid so please take one step further and say them out loud.

That’s why I recorded a few sentences with a little break for you to repeat. This is the smallest step you can take. Repeat after me but I really encourage you to go the extra mile and talk to yourself when you’re alone, in your car, your home, on a walk, whenever possible.

Okay. That was just a quick reminder of the importance of self-talk. Don’t forget about talking to yourself, it really makes all the difference.

Now. Think for a second about your answer to this question: what do you usually say when you want to agree with someone? Is it just ‘yes’, or maybe ‘yes I agree’ or maybe ‘me too’. Let’s expand your vocabulary. It’ll also allow you to feel less tense while listening to others. I hope after this podcast episode you’ll be able to understand and use most importantly use a bunch of new phrases. They are practical, normal conversation phrases. Use them with no shame because I hope you can trust me,  they are very common. Nothing fancy today. We’re coming back to basics but to be honest, nothing is basic and nothing is simple until you learn it.

You might know all the phrases I’m going to give you . Understand them, being able to write them, but the thing is: can you use them in speaking? So! Your homework after this episode is to try to memorize at least four best expressions you like the most and you’d like to be able to use in a conversation.

1. To agree’ means to have the same opinion about something as someone else. 

Let’s start with a definition of the word ‘agree’ and let’s have a look at the whole word family.

The opposite is formed by adding a prefix to the main verb: ‘to disagree’. How to use this verb in a sentence? With prepositions:

  • ‘Agree with’:  example sentence: If I thought you’re right I would agree with you. If I thought you’re right I would agree with you
  • ‘Agree that’: example sentence: Most people agree that good education is the key to success in the modern world.  Most people agree that good education is the key to success in the modern world.
  • you can also ‘agree on’ or ‘agree about’, and you can choose the preposition you prefer. They mean the same. Example sentence: I don’t agree on everything with you. I don’t agree on everything with you.

2. Second meaning of ‘agree’ is: to say yes to some plan, idea or suggestion. In this case the opposite is different. It’s not ‘to disagree’, the opposite is ‘to refuse’. Let’s have a look at the word ‘agree’ in this context in example sentences:

  • I offered her accommodation and she agreed. I offered her accommodation and she agreed.
  • Another example might be: I really don’t know why you agreed to do this. I really don’t know why you agreed to do this.

3. The third meaning is: to make a decision with somebody after discussing it with him or her.

  • We agreed to come back to this later. We agreed to come back to this later.
  • in this meaning, you can also ‘agree on something’. For example: Finally, they agreed on a date for the party. Finally, they agreed on a date for the party.

As I promised, I’d like to show you other parts of speech from the same word family. A noun is ‘agreement’ opposite of ‘agreement’ is, as you can guess, ‘disagreement’. Adjectives: ‘agreeable’, ‘disagreeable’ and ‘agreed’. For example: agreed price. Adverbs are: ‘agreeably’ and ‘disagreeably’.

Okay let’s have a look at some expressions useful when it comes to agreeing with someone. I divided them into three categories. The first category is ‘formal expressions’, second one ‘informal expressions’ and the last ‘slang expressions’ so the last group represents very informal phrases for very informal situations

Let us begin with formal expressions.  The first one I’d like to get to know is:

  1. ‘I couldn’t agree with you more’ or ‘I couldn’t agree more’. This expression doesn’t have to be formal. It depends on the context, on the situation. If you put it in ‘informal expressions’ I’m sure, you’d notice that  ‘I couldn’t agree with you more’ stands out from that informal group. That’s why I put it here although keep in mind it can be used in informal situations as well. Let’s move on to other formal expressions with the formal register.
  2. ‘It was agreed that’. For example: It was agreed that the project wasn’t ready yet.  It was agreed that the project wasn’t ready yet. Whenever you put a verb into passive voice you end up with a more formal version, so it is a quick operation on words you can perform to  wound up with a more formal equivalent of the same word.
  3. Another phrase really formal is: ‘to be of the same opinion’ I’m of the same opinion as dr. Jones. I’m of the same opinion as dr. Jones.
  4. Next: ‘to share somebody’s view’. For example, All the specialists in this field share the same view on the subject. All the specialists in this field share the same view on the subject.
  5. Another phrase: ‘to be in agreement’. I am in agreement with my sister over the future of the house. I am in agreement with my sister over the future of the house.
  6. Last but not least phrase is an extremely formal verb and it’s ‘concur’. It’s especially used in official contexts, so an example might be: As most scholars concur this exhibit must have been made by Phoenicians. As most scholars concur this exhibit must have been made by Phoenicians.

Okay. Moving on to informal phrases, which are especially useful for day-to-day conversations. I hope you find them interesting and worth memorizing, so let’s practice.

  1. ‘I have to side with Anne on this one’, ‘I have to side with Anne on this one’. That means I have to agree with her because she’s right and I agree with her on this matter, ‘on this one’.
  2. You have a point here. You have a point here.
  3. Number three: ‘that’s a good point’, ‘that’s a good point’.
  4. Number four: ‘I suppose so’, ‘I suppose so’ and I’ll stop here for a second. Because I think some clarification is necessary now. This agreement expression is not hundred per cent sure. ‘I guess so’, ‘I suppose so’, but I’m not a hundred per cent sure.
  5. Number five: here they come, two very short expressions, one-word expressions. ‘Exactly’. Notice how this word is pronounced: exactly, exactly.
  6. ‘Absolutely’.
  7. ‘You’re absolutely right’
  8. Number eight: ‘That’s for sure’, ‘that’s for sure’.
  9.  Number nine: ‘that’s so true’, ‘that’s so true’.
  10. Number ten: ‘I totally agree’, ‘I totally agree’
  11. Number eleven: ‘I see what you mean’, ‘I see what you mean’.
  12. Number twelve: ‘I’m with you’. I love this one, ‘I’m with you’.  I’ve been using this phrase a lot recently.
  13. Number thirteen: ‘I feel the same’, ‘I feel the same’.

Alrighty! Let’s have a look at the examples of slang words. The list is really really long, but not mine I picked  just ten, but the number of slang expressions  for just agreeing is, I don’t know, probably endless. But, if you’re interested, google it, just type: slang  words for agreeing and you’ll find, sometimes funny  words you wouldn’t have thought they’re for agreeing. But I chose these ten, they are useful, they are widely used, very common, so  let’s have a look.

  1. ‘tell me about it’, ‘tell me about it’.
  2. ‘I’ll say’, ‘I’ll say’.
  3. ‘You said it’,‘You said it’.
  4. ‘No doubt’,‘No doubt’. I’m sure you know this musical band with Gwen Stephanie as the main vocalist ‘No doubt’.
  5. ‘I’ll drink to that’, I’ll drink to that’.
  6. ‘True’,‘True’.
  7. ‘True that’, ‘True that’.
  8. ‘True say’,‘True say’.
  9. ‘Rodger that’,‘Rodger that’.
  10. ‘I know, right?’,‘I know, right?’.

Be careful when you want to agree with someone’s negative sentence. So, when somebody says sentence which includes a word ‘not’, for example, I don’t like ice cream what you should respond with is: me neither, or me neither. If you want to agree with someone, who says an affirmative sentence say ‘me too’. For example:

A: I like this weather.

B: Me too or so do I

A: I’m exhausted

B: Me too or so am I

A: I’ve been to London

B: Me too or so have I

Me too is more casual, and easier to use than so do, I so am I or so have I and me too less formal.

Coming back to negative sentences and how to agree with a negative comment, just a quick revision:

A: I don’t like the weather today.

B: Me neither or neither do I

There are two ways of pronouncing this word: ‘neither’ or ‘neither’. You can use both there is no change in meaning .  One is British, ‘neither’  the other is American ‘neither’.

The phrasal verb I have prepared for you is ‘not agree with somebody’ and it is about food. If something to eat doesn’t agree with you it makes you feel sick for example, I love pizza but it doesn’t agree with me so after eating pizza I always feel sick but nevertheless I still love it.

Ok. The best for last and that is my beloved idiom, but this one is pretty easy, let’s say. ‘Agree to disagree’ or another version ‘agree to differ’. Well, now I think I wasn’t right saying it’s an easy idiom since there is no equivalent in Polish. There is something similar, to express the same idea but it’s not exactly the same.It’s not a word to word transition.If two people ‘agreed to defer’ or they ‘agree to disagree’ they stop arguing, they stop persuading each other that they are right because they understand and accept the fact they differ in opinion and most probably they won’t change their opinions. They don’t want to change their opinions, and that’s ok.

Your turn. Tell me which phrase is your favourite and you’re going to be using it from now on. Maybe one slang expression, maybe some formal one, and one informal, or two informal because the informal section is most useful. Let me know anything, because I know and I’m surprised at how many people do listen to this podcast. Last Wednesday it was almost 100 people! In one day! It’s unbelievable. Since you’re here, please write to me, let me know who are you, what do you do? How’s you speaking? Do you have a language barrier?

If you know someone who might learn something here with me, spread the word. Let’s help more people speak English without unnecessary stress.

Next episode is: Learn English with music and this time it’s one of the songs by SIA. Do you like her music? Can you guess which song I picked? Make sure to subscribe and do not miss it! Have a good week, I’ll meet you here next  Wednesday, happy learning! Bye, bye!