When you're asked for your opinion in English, it's often tempting to say "I don't know" – especially if you're not sure what to say.
However, there is a quick and effective technique to produce an elaborate answer and impress your colleagues / an interviewer / discussion partners.
Here's a sample question: 'Should plastic bags be banned in supermarkets?'
Let's follow 5 easy steps to answer an opinion question if YOU ARE NOT SURE WHAT TO SAY.
- Quick-pick a side: YES/NO. Let's say, you agree more than disagree, so your answer is YES.
- Reverse the statement: 'Plastic bags should be used in supermarkets' or 'Plastic bags are essential for supermarkets'.
- Start answering with the reversed statement, using "Some people think that…'
- Some people think that plastic bags are essential for supermarkets.
4. Say that you disagree with that, using 'However…' and shortly say why:
However, I believe that it isn't so, because it damages the environment and there are other packaging solutions we could use, like reusable tote bags.
5. Finish it up with the expression that show that you're aware that you're not 100% sure of what you're saying, but that you still have a point of view that is worth listening to and you are not trying to avoid sharing your point of view. Here are some ideas:
"I'm not sure, but…"
"I'm not an expert, but…"
"In my opinion…"
Your full answer will look like this:
Some people think that plastic bags are essential for supermarkets. However, I believe that it isn't so, because it damages the environment and there are other packaging solutions we could use, like reusable tote bags. I'm not an expert, but I guess I would avoid using plastic bags in supermarkets as much as possible.
So next time you're asked for your opinion in English, don't be afraid to speak up – even if you're not completely sure of what you're saying. You might just surprise yourself with how much you know!