Four ways to disagree without sounding rude


Disagreement is a normal and important part of everyday life, both at work and in our social lives. But how do you sound when you disagree? Some of our students are surprised when we tell them that their style of disagreement is too strong or comes across as rude.

But don’t worry! There are a few neat phrases that you can include in your repertoire to sound more polite when you disagree.

I disagree with you.

What do you think? Appropriate? Natural? Not really. In English we find this phrase too strong and it’s rarely used by native speakers. However, if we do want to express a strong disagreement, we might soften the phrase by apologising first:

I’m afraid I disagree with you there.
I’m sorry, I disagree with you there.

Another way of slightly softening the statement is to start with ‘I have to say’:

I have to say, I disagree…

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