Hey there, this is Teacher ola podcast episode 18: How to Disagree in English? Useful Expressions.

My name’s Ola and I teach English online through 1:1 lessons.

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. You’ll boost your vocabulary, brush up your grammar and improve your pronunciation. Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning!

Thank you for coming back. If you’re here for the first time, I’m glad to have you here. I wanted to say thank you for sending me emails. You have no idea how excited I am when I see an email from a listener. It’s pure gold.

Thank you for all of them, and please send more. I want to get to know you a bit better. If you have any suggestions on topics, song titles to break down the lyrics, or grammar points you’d like to hear about, write to me. I have lots of ideas, but I’d like to hear your take on that as well.

After listening to this very episode, go to teacherola.com/18 and grab your free worksheet to practise sentence translation.

Disagreeing might be more challenging than agreeing. Especially if you have problems with speaking English, with your barrier. To disagree you have to expose yourself and for some of us, it’s just tough.

Secondly, the language itself. It’s really boring, and what’s worse, you sound like a robot if you use ‘I disagree’ all the time. ‘I disagree’ is fine, but if you use it constantly it becomes boring and you sound unnatural.

Today, you’ll learn alternative ways of expressing ‘I disagree’. You’ll repeat them, hopefully out loud. I’ve been telling you this from episode one, to learn speaking you need to start speaking. Even if it’s just one sentence a day said to yourself in a car, that’s better than nothing. It moves you forward. Keep it up!

I thought that I should categorize those expressions, so I did. The first group consists of phrases suitable for strong disagreement in a more formal way. In the second category, you’ll find phrases useful when you want to be understood by your close friends and family members, they are very casual and direct. Some of the propositions are going to be rude and offensive, some of them are slang, I’ll let you know when we dive into the examples.


First, let’s deal with very strong disagreement expressions. Number one. Listen and repeat:

  1. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
  2. I don’t think you and I have the same opinion on this issue.
  3. I have a completely different opinion on that.
  4. I don’t see it that way.
  5. I respectfully disagree.
  6. I see what you’re saying, but …
  7. I respect your point but from my perspective …
  8. I beg to differ.

Ok, let’s move on to some still formal expressions, but weaker, so I’d say more polite.

  • I take your point but that isn’t the way I see it.
  • True, that is a fair point, but I have to say I disagree…
  • I’m not sure I agree with you on that one.
  • There is some truth to what you’re saying but don’t you think that…
  • I agree to some extent but…
  • On the whole, I agree with you but…
  • I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree

Ok, the list of more formal expressions. As you may have noticed, some of them sounded more polite than others. There’s a strategy when it comes to showing an opposing point of view.  To make it more polite, to soften the message which might be hard for someone, show that you understand the other person’s opinion. (for example, I see your point, that’s a fair point, I know what you mean, I see where you’re coming from). You can even pretend to be unsure about your own opinion or solution  ( I’m not quite sure I agree, On the whole I agree with you, but ).


Please, use them only in a safe environment. I mean, in front of your close friends, family members, and nowhere else. They’re direct, some of them are rude. No swear words here, I’m sure you all know them.

         Not offensive:

  1. I don’t accept that.
  2. I don’t think so.
  3. I guess so. Do you hear that intonation? Listen again: I guess so. Intonation plays a crucial role. It shows, you’re nor willing to do or accept something. You disagree, but it’s a week disagreement.
  4. I don’t see eye to eye on this one – and this one is an idiom. Let’s repeat it: I don’t see eye to eye on this one
  5. Not necessarily.
  6. That’s not quite right
  7. That’s not true really, is it?
  8. Very nice! Uh-uh. That’s it! Use it for small things, trivial, unimportant, or not very important issues. Listen to this example: Mum, can I have some chocolate? Uh-uh, not before dinner.
  9. Yes, but.
  10. Um no. Well, it can be offensive as well, but it all depends on the situation, so it’s so hard to tell you now will or won’t it make somebody offended. Well, it might, it might. But I guess this ‘umm’ ‘umm’ before ‘no’ it shows that you are considering the opposing view of the person you speak to, so I guess it’s not that offensive. There are more offensive words coming, so wait for them.
  11. Naah. Naah. It’s quite different from ‘no’ isn’t it? So, ‘no’ is strong. ‘Naah’ is much more casual. I’m sure you know what I mean. If you watch tv series or films in original, I’m sure you’ve heard it many times.
  12. Well.

         And let’s jump into rude and possibly offensive phrases, but no swear words here.

  1.  Don’t be so sure.
  2. What? No!
  3. You’ve got it all wrong.
  4. Hell no. Hell no. And I’m sure you know a bit more offensive alternative, but I’m not gonna say  it here.
  5. Yeah…no. I love it, it’s so cool, isn’t it? Listen and repeat: Yeah… no. Hilarious, isn’t it? It might be like this, as I said it just now, longer, with these three dots between: yeah three dots no. Or a shorter version: Yeah, no. Yeah, no.
  6. Haha NO. Cool huh, isn’t it? Oh my goodness, so natural to use, but only in a very close environment of people you really know well.
  7. Nope. Nope.  Again, I have to add it. It’s really straightforward, be careful with using it, it might be offensive.
  8. Oh, and this is really rude: You’re talking rubbish.
  9. Come on! How can you say that?
  10. I’ll just say it: Bollocks – it’s a vulgar British slang word. Bollocks, nonsense, I disagree with that, it’s bollocks.
  11. Are you kidding me?
  12. You must be joking!
  13. You can’t be serious!


What’s your favourite way of saying ‘I disagree’? Have you learnt a new one?  Let me know! Don’t forget to check out the worksheet I prepared for you.

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Come back next Wednesday, It’s gonna be another ‘Learn English With Music’ episode. This time, Tylor Swift.

Have a great week, till next Wednesday, happy learning, bye!