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Expressing views and opinions
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Knut Striak from Germany writes:

Would you accept the phrase: in his point of view? I would prefer to say: according to his point of view.

Roger Woodham replies:
  in my view / opinion

I think we would normally drop point of and simply say in his view (in my view / in their opinion / etc):

  • In my view, birds should not be kept in cages.

  • How important is it, in your view, that the twins should stay together? ~ In my opinion, it's very important.

If we want to use point of view, I think we would more often say from my point of view rather than according to my point of view. Both these expressions emphasise the position or angle you are judging the situation from:

  • From my point of view it makes no difference whether you return on Saturday night or Sunday morning.

  • From a political point of view, the agreement of the UN is extremely important.

  • From the point of view of safety, always wear a helmet when you are on the building site.

to my mind / etc

In my view, from my point of view, in my opinion are all fairly formal ways of expressing your opinion characteristic of written English. Less formal equivalents more characteristic of spoken English, include the following:

to my mind: to emphasise that this is your opinion
reckon: usually to express an opinion about what Is likely to happen
feel: to express a strong personal opinion
if you ask me: to express an opinion that may be critical
to be honest (with you): to express a critical opinion without seeming rude
as far as I'm concerned: to express an opinion that may be different from others'

  • To my mind the quality of their football is just not good enough.

  • I reckon it'll rain later today. Let's go tomorrow.

  • I feel she shouldn't be getting married so young.

  • If you ask me, it's unreasonable to pay for something which should be free.

  • To be honest (with you), I'm surprised you got into university with such low grades.

  • As far as I'm concerned, the matter is over and done with and we can now move forward.

academic writing and expressing opinions

If you are required to write an academic essay in which you are asked to express an opinion (see below), useful alternatives to in my view include:

I think that…
It seems to me that…
I would argue that…
I do not believe that…
I am unconvinced that…
I do not agree that…

  • How acceptable is it for wild animals to be kept in zoos?

  • I believe that it is quite unacceptable for animals to be kept in zoos. It seems to me that when they are confined to a cage they never have enough room to move around. I would argue that it is kinder to allow a rare animal to die naturally in the wilds rather than to prolong its life artificially in a zoo.

making concessions

To achieve balance in any essay, it may be useful to incorporate opinions that are different from your own. Useful linking words and expressions include:

Of course, many / some people argue…
It is sometimes argued…

  • It is sometimes argued that it is possible for conditions in the zoo to replicate the wild animal's natural habitat. While this may be feasible for smaller reptiles, it will never be possible, in my view, for the larger mammals which needs acres of space to roam around in.
clarifying an opinion

It may sometimes be necessary to explain a thought in greater detail. Useful linking expressions for doing this include:

By this I mean…
Here I'm referring to…
To be more precise…
That is to say…

  • By spending money on confining wild animals to zoos, we are wasting resources. By this I mean there are more urgent economic problems to deal with: hospitals and schools should be our first priority.

If you would like more practice more please visit our Message Board in the You, Me and Us part of our website.

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