How to Agree & Disagree

“I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don’t always agree with them.”

George H.W. Bush , the 41st President of the United States

What words are there to agree and disagree with someone or something? What’s the difference between “agree with” and “agree on?” In this post we’ll answer these questions and teach you useful vocabulary for any time you discuss something and need to advocate your point of view.

AGREE WITH OR AGREE ON?

Both “agree with” and “agree on” are about the same opinion. But if you agree on/about something, you focus on the matter you have the same opinion about. If you agree with something, you second (if you second a proposal in a meeting or debate, you formally express your agreement with it) someone’s comment, proposal, etc. So, you agree with someone else’s argument and you agree on/about something if you agree that something it true. For example:

Both have agreed on the need for the money.

Let us concentrate on what we can agree on now.

We do not always agree about how to proceed.

They agree about keeping this quiet.

I agree with every word you’ve just said. (not I agree on every word you’ve just said)

We cannot agree with this position. (not We cannot agree on this position)

If you have the same opinion as someone else, use “with” after “agree.” In this case you mention people after the verb:

I absolutely agree with you.

I very much agree with the prime minister.

Do you agree with me that the scheme won’t work?

AGREEING

If you agree with someone, something or on/about something, you can easily avoid the word “agree” using the following phrases:

  • Absolutely: It’s great, isn’t it? – Absolutely. (I agree wholeheartedly)
  • I’m with you: I think this road is too narrow. – I’m with you. Let’s use a different one.
  • I couldn’t agree more: The world needs more love and less war. – I couldn’t agree more. (I agree completely)
  • I couldn’t have put/said it better myself: Family is a unique gift that needs to be appreciated and treasured, even when they are driving you crazy. – I couldn’t have put it better myself. (You have expressed it very well)
  • You have a point (there): These measures will help us cut costs. – You have a point. (You are right)
  • That’s a good point: That poses a huge risk. – That’s a good point. 
  • That/it makes sense: We’d need to make cuts to certain programs. – It makes sense. 
  • Right you are: Work now, fun later. – Right you are. 
  • Indeed: Isn’t the view wonderful? – Yes, indeed. 
  • Certainly: We’ll always be friends. – Certainly. 
  • Exactly: It’s too early to talk about it. – Exactly. So, let’s remain silent. 
  • You can say that again (informal): The job is lousy (very bad). – You can say that again!
  • You’re telling me (informal): You need to quit that job! – You’re telling me. (I know that very well and I agree with you)
  • I suppose/guess so: Is this right? – I suppose/guess so.
  • I agree with you 100 percent: We should work a little harder. – I agree with you 100%.
  • That’s exactly how I feel: I’d like to stay home tonight. – That’s exactly how I feel. It’s too cold outside and we’ve got that new movie to watch.
  • I side with you: Do you agree with me, Kate? – No, I have to side with John (on this). (I support John in the argument)
  • I was just going to say that: Her hairstyle is great! – I was just going to say that. 

DISAGREEING 

Rather than saying “I don’t agree” or “I disagree,” you may want to use:

  • Absolutely notIt’s great, isn’t it? – Absolutely not. It’s the worst painting I’ve ever seen (I disagree wholeheartedly)
  • Pardon/excuse me but: Pardon me but I think we should do it differently. 
  • Nothing of the sort: We are going to work together. – We are going to do nothing of the sort.  
  • Speak for yourself (informal): We love the party! – Speak for yourself, I hate it. 
  • Don’t make me laugh (informal, disapproval): That was a great period in history! – Don’t make me laugh. It was horrible. 
  • Are you kidding? (informal): We should buy that flat. – Are you kidding? We can’t afford it. 
  • I take your point butThese measures will help us cut costs. – I take your point but I think there are more important things now. 
  • Not really: Do you agree with me? – Not really, sorry. 
  • No way (informal): I’ll live with you for a month, OK? – No way!
  • I beg to differ (very polite): That was a great period in history! – I beg to differ. I think it was bad. 
  • I’d say the exact opposite: He loves her. – I’d say the exact opposite. He hates her.
  • Not necessarily: We can start by making a plan. – Not necessarily. We can pack our bags first.
  • Let’s agree to disagree: Let’s agree to disagree and move on. (Let’s stop arguing because neither of us is going to change their opinion)
  • Let’s agree to differ: Let’s agree to differ before we stop talking to each other. (let’s agree to disagree)

Check out our post on how to express your opinion and don’t forget to subscribe not to miss more posts like this. Thank you for reading!

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