英語で意見交換をしてましょう (CBS A - Lesson 4 - Giving and Asking Opinions) (Level: TOEIC 400-500)

Goal: Learn how to give and ask opinions in an English business meeting 

Lesson 4: Giving and Asking Opinions


Do you know how to give or ask an opinion in English? This is an essential business English lesson if you want to be a global businessperson!

In this lesson, you will learn different ways to ask someone's opinion, how to give your opinion confidently and you will also learn how to agree or disagree politely with another person's opinion. 


Listen to the dialogue audio first before reading the text.

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Steve: We have to decide when to launch our new product. I’d like to hear what you all think. Would you start, Helen?


Helen: I think we should test the product first, and then evaluate the results. We could launch it in December.


Steve: Okay. Thank you, Helen. Max, what are your thoughts?


Max: Well, I think that earlier is better. In my opinion, we should launch the product in September.


Steve: Thanks, Max. Let’s hear from Claire. Claire, what do you think?


Claire: I’m sorry but I don’t agree. I think that September is too early. I agree with Helen. December would be the best month to launch the product.


Steve: Thank you, Claire. Finally, Andre, what would you like to add?


Andre: Well, I think we should launch the product during the summer. So August is the best.


Steve: Okay. Thank you for all of your opinions. Now, we must make a decision.


Points to remember:

Here's a big difference in communication style between Westerners and Japanese:

"English-speaking people give their opinion (main message) first and then support with reasons and examples." 

Example:  I think November is the best month to launch our new product because we can get good sales during the Christmas period.

"Japanese people often build up to their point, use indirect language or often want the listener to figure out their opinion." 

Example: We can get good sales during the Christmas period, if we launch our new product in November. 

English-speaking people feel being clear and direct is respectful so don't be worried about using this communication style when using English. Go on, give it a try!

Cultural Awareness:

Speak Up and Interrupt!

Meetings are a time to discuss important matters and to give your opinions.  If you stay quiet, it looks like you have nothing to say.  If you want to interrupt, raise your hand and say, “Excuse me. May I say something?” In English, we often “talk over” or interrupt each other.  It isn’t rude.  It’s just another way to share ideas.

Now double check your understanding by reading the Japanese translation:


会議は大切な案件について話し合い、あなたの意見を述べる場です。黙ったままでは、あなたに何も意見がないように見えます。もし言葉を挟みたいなら、手を挙げてこう言いましょう。“Excuse me. May I say something?”英語ではお互いの話の途中に言葉を挟みます。それは失礼にはあたりません。アイディアを共有するもうひとつの方法にすぎません。

Useful Expressions:

Asking for an Opinion
  • ~について皆さんのお考えを伺いたいです。
  • I’d like to hear what everyone thinks about...
  • 明子、この計画についてどうお考えですか。
  • Akiko, what do you think about this plan?
  • ティナ、あの提案についてのあなたのご意見は?
  • Tina, what can you say about that proposal?
  • (他の) ご意見をお持ちの方はいらっしゃいますか。
  • Does anybody have any (other) ideas?
意見を述べる Giving Opinions
  • 一般消費者向けの製品のアイディアがあります。
  • I have an idea about a new consumer product.
  • ~した方がいいと思います。
  • I think we should V....
  • 間違いなく~であると思います。
  • I’m pretty sure that S  V....
  • もっと低価格のモデルの開発は可能でしょうか。
  • I wonder if we can develop a cheaper model?
同意を確認する Confirming Agreement
  • ティモシー、あなたもそう思いますか。
  • Timothy, do you think so too?
  • あなた/皆さんも賛成ですか。
  • Do you agree? / Does everybody agree?
  • いかがでしょうか。
  • How does that sound?
同意する Agreeing
  • いいですね。
  • That sounds good.
  • 全く同感です。
  • I completely agree.
  • あなたのおっしゃる通りだと思います。
  • Yes, I think you’re right.
  • いかがでしょう?
  • I think that’s a great idea.
丁寧に不同意を示す Disagreeing Politely
  • すみませんが、賛成しかねます。
  • I’m sorry, but I don’t agree.
  • 恐れ入りますが、そうは思いません。
  • I’m afraid I don’t think so.
  • それはよい考えとは言いかねます。
  • Hmm.... That might not be a good idea.
Useful Vocabulary:

Here's some vocabulary you'll find useful when taking part in an English meeting:

Agenda: Written list of points to be discussed at a meeting.

Alternative: Choice of two or more possibilities.

Chairperson: The person who conducts the meeting.

Clarify: Make something clearer by giving more information.

Consensus: General agreement.

Deadline: Future date at which something must be done.

Decision: Reach a conclusion or resolution concerning future action.

Interrupt: Stop a person who is speaking in order to say or do something.

Item: A separate point for discussion on an agenda.

Minutes: A written summary of the proceedings at a meeting.

Objective: What is aimed at, what one wants to achieve or obtain.

Proposal: A course of action put forward for consideration; to make a proposal.

Recommend: Advise a course of action. Summary: A brief statement of the main points.