The IELTS task 2 assignment requires you to give and support opinions, and also to express your feelings. To suitably impress the examiners you need to display a range of vocabulary for these two functions, and not rely on basic ‘ patterns like’ I think…’, ‘I feel…’, ‘I like/dislike…’ etc.
Here are some expressions that you can use when giving your opinion:
As I see it
Used to introduce an opinion.
Example – As I see it, reducing bus fares will significantly reduce traffic congestion.
Used when you think something is true but you have no proof.
Example – I assume that people will use their cars less if the price of petrol is increased.
Used to show the way you generally think about something.
Example – I have a pretty tolerant attitude to the question of should old people be allowed to keep their driving licence.
Be in favour of
Used to show your support for something.
Example: I’m in favour of restricting the use of private cars in city centres.
Be of the opinion
Used as a variant to ‘ my opinion is ..’.
Example: I’m of the opinion that more subways need to be built.
Convince / be convinced
Used to express a strong feeling that you are right.
Example: I’m convinced that more should be done to persuade people to use public transport more.
Used as a more formal version of ‘think’.
Example – I consider the government’s transport policy to be seriously mistaken.
Used to show you don’t believe something.
Example: I doubt that driverless cars will become a common sight on our roads in the near future.
Hold (an opinion)
Used to indicate a strong belief.
Example – I hold the view that people caught drink driving should lose their licences.
Make sure you don’t confuse ‘idea’ and ‘opinion’. They can sometimes be interchanged but the key difference is that ‘opinion’ is used to show what you think about a topic being discussed, whereas ‘idea’ refers to your thoughts on a possible course of action.
Example – One idea that has been tried is to make Sundays ‘no-car’ days in city centres.
Other similar words include:
Concept – general idea or principle
Example – The concept of integrity in public life has been undermined by recent scandals.
Notion – belief, idea
Example – I don’t agree with the notion that car ownership should be protected as a basic human right.
Stance – way of thinking, usually used for groups and institutions
Example – The government’s stance on the matter of improving public transport is offer support but not make any financial commitments.
Impersonal ‘it’ expressions were looked at in a previous article. They are particularly useful when you wish to convey a more objective tone, suitable for academic work.
Examples: It is my opinion that more and more cities are realizing the need to curb transport levels.
It is my belief that there will be a resurgence in the use of bicycles.
Used to convey the fact that you will not change your mind, often despite strong arguments against.
Example: I realize this is not a common view but I maintain that in fifty years’ time, there will be no private cars.
Used in more formal settings as a synonym for ‘opinion’.
Example: My position on this is that local authorities need to take a stricter line on enforcing parking restrictions.
Put forward (a view/ suggestion)
Used to express ideas or suggestions in a slightly more formal way.
Example – I’d like to put forward the view that four wheel drive cars should be banned from cities.
Used to show you do not believe something.
Example: I suspect that many motorists don’t give a second thought to the harmful effects of motor vehicles on the environment.
Way of thinking
Used to show the attitude of a person or a group.
Example – People’s way of thinking about public transport differs depending on where they live.
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Rewrite the following with the words in brackets.
a) I doubt that introducing more single sex schools will improve exam results. (suspect)
b) My view is that boys and girls should be educated together in mixed-sex schools. (hold)
c) It is my belief that single sex schools offer a much higher standard of education. (maintain)
Match sentence beginnings in A with endings in B.
a different viewpoint on this matter.
I’d like to put forward
that not enough thought has been given to this subject.
I’m very much in favour of
on this topic hasn’t changed.