ES Dubai - Useful English Phrases to Lead a Discussion
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Useful English Phrases to Lead a Discussion

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Through our language courses in Dubai, we not only embrace the beauty of learning but also cherish the journey of mastering the English language. Whether you’re gearing up for an international adventure with business English, preparing for academic growth, or stepping into the global corporate world, the ability to lead and participate in discussions in English is a skill that opens doors to endless opportunities. Today, let’s learn some useful phrases that beginners can use to participate in conversations confidently.

Breaking the Ice

Starting a conversation can sometimes feel like standing at the edge of a diving board, but with the right phrases, you’ll be making a splash in no time. Here are a few icebreakers to get things rolling:

– “What’s your take on…?” – This is a great way to invite someone’s opinion on a topic. For example:
Person A: “What’s your take on remote work versus office-based setups?”
Person B: “I think remote work offers great flexibility but can be isolating at times.”

– “Have you ever…?” – Use this phrase to kickstart a conversation with a personal touch. It’s perfect for sharing experiences. For example:
Person A: “Have you ever travelled to another country alone?”
Person B: “Yes, I went to Japan last year by myself.”

– “I was wondering…” – This gentle opener is ideal for introducing a topic or asking for information without being too direct. For example:
Person A: “I was wondering, how do you manage stress during finals week?”
Person B: “I usually create a study schedule and make sure to take regular breaks.”

Sharing Your Opinion

Voicing your thoughts is at the heart of any discussion. Here are some beginner-friendly phrases to help you express yourself:

– “In my view…” / “From my perspective…” These phrases allow you to present your opinion as personal, making it easier for others to engage with your point of view. For example:
Person A: “In my view, reading fiction is just as educational as non-fiction.”
Person B: “Interesting, I’ve never thought about it that way before.”

– “I believe that…” When you’re ready to state your beliefs clearly and confidently, this phrase sets the stage. For example:
Person A: “I believe that learning English opens up many career opportunities.”
Person B: “That’s true, especially in today’s globalised world.”

– “It seems to me that…” This is a softer way to share your thoughts, especially if you’re not entirely sure or want to leave room for other opinions. For example:
Person A: “It seems to me that public transportation in Dubai is very efficient.”
Person B: “Yes, it is with the different options available.”

Agreeing and Disagreeing

These are fundamental responses that are required during discussions. Here’s how to do it politely:

– “Exactly!” This enthusiastic agreement shows you’re on the same page. For example:
Person A: Exactly! I think a balanced diet is more effective than fad diets.”
Person B: “Absolutely, sustainability is key to healthy eating habits.”

– “I couldn’t agree more.” Use this when you strongly agree with someone’s point. For example:
Person A: “I couldn’t agree more. Community gardens are a great way to bring people together.”
Person B: “Right? They also promote sustainable living.”

– “I see your point, but…” – Acknowledge what the other person has said before presenting a differing viewpoint. For example:
Person A: “I see your point, but not all technology advancements lead to job losses.”
Person B: “Hmm, I hadn’t considered the new jobs they create.”

– “That’s an interesting perspective, however…” This phrase introduces your counterargument in a respectful manner. For example:
Person A: “That’s an interesting perspective; however, not all fast food is unhealthy.”
Person B: “True, there are more healthy options available now.”

Asking for Clarification

Misunderstandings happen, but they’re just opportunities for deeper understanding. When you need to clear things up, try these phrases:
– “Could you elaborate on that?” This is a polite way to ask someone to provide more details. For example:
Person A: “Could you elaborate on that point about self-care during camp?”
Person B: “Yes, having a self-care routine at a summer camp is important to maintain your health.”

– “I’m not sure I follow. Could you explain that a bit more?” Use this when you need more information to fully understand. For example:
Person A: “I’m not sure I follow. Could you explain that a bit more?
Person B: “Of course, I’m referring to the process of learning English grammar concepts to improve your language skills.”

– “What do you mean by ‘…’?” When a specific term or phrase is unclear, this question helps you get clarity. For example:
Person A: “What do you mean by ‘learning Business English’?”
Person B: “It means learning the language relevant to the business world.”

Offering Help or Suggestions

Being proactive in discussions can also mean offering assistance or proposing ideas. Here’s how:
– “Have you considered…?” This phrase is a gentle way to offer a suggestion or an alternative perspective. For example:
Person A: “Have you considered joining a study group to improve your language skills?”
Person B: “No, but that sounds like a great idea!”

– “If you need help with…, I’m here.” Offering help builds rapport and creates a collaborative atmosphere. For example:
Person A: “If you need help with your presentation, I’m here.
Person B: “Thanks! I could really use some feedback on it.”

– “Maybe we could try…” When proposing an idea, this phrase shows you’re open to input and collaboration. For example:
Person A: “Maybe we could try using a project management tool to streamline our work.”
Person B: “That could be really useful for tracking our progress.”

Wrapping Up

Concluding a conversation gracefully is just as important as starting one. Here are some phrases to help you wrap up:
– “To sum up…” This phrase is perfect for summarising the main points of a discussion. For example:
Person A: “To sum up, we’ve discussed the importance of sustainable living and how we can contribute to it.”
Person B: “Yes, I think we have a good plan moving forward.”

– “Let’s circle back to this later.” Use it when you need to pause the current conversation but plan to revisit it. For example:
Person A: “Let’s circle back to this later. I think we need more information before making a decision.”
Person B: “Agreed, I’ll gather some more data and we can revisit this topic next week.”

– “I think we’ve covered everything.” This indicates that you believe the discussion has been thorough. For example:
Person A: “I think we’ve covered everything on today’s agenda.”
Person B: “Great, thank you everyone for a productive meeting.”

At ES Dubai, we believe in the power of communication as a means to connect cultures, ideas, and hearts. By equipping yourself with these essential phrases, you’re not just learning to speak English; you’re opening yourself up to a world of possibilities. Remember, every great English speaker started somewhere. With these phrases in your toolkit, you’re well on your way to becoming one.

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