Unit 1: Understanding Speaking Test
Unit 3: Focus on Fluency & Coherence
Unit 3: Focus on Pronunciation
Unit 6: Focus on Lexical Resource
Unit 5: Focus on Grammatical Range & Accuracy

How to Give and Support an Opinion?

IELTS speaking is very popular for asking you questions where you have to express your opinion. Although there is no such rule that best describes the way of answering this IELTS speaking questions, it is always better for you to know some language tips on How to Give and Support an Opinion.

In this lesson, you’ll master the Formula for Giving and Supporting Opinions. This is a skill that you will need to use in all Part Three lessons. It is a basic native speaker discussion skill.

When IELTS examiner asks you such question they really have no interest on the content of your answer but construct. They just want to know weather you can use right grammatical structure.

First let’s see some questions under this category

» Do you think children should be made to wear a uniform to school?
»
Do you believe it is acceptable that animals are used for cosmetics testing?
»
Do you feel that city life is suitable for elderly people?
»
What do you think about there being a single international language?

To give and support opinions, you should:-

Answer order
1. Introduce and state your opinions early
2. Support your opinions with reasons or examples

Language steps:
1. Use native speaker expressions for giving and supporting opinions.
2. Use native speaker expressions for introducing opinions.
3. Use native speaker expressions for supporting your opinions.

Yes, I think that children in middle school and high school should wear a uniform to school. I strongly believe that it is essential for giving children a sense of identity and unity. Young children can be very snobbish about fashion and often ridicule and pick on children who don’t wear expensive or designer clothes, II all schoolchildren have to wear a uniform, they will all look the same and so poorer children won’t be discriminated against by the
richer children.

Step 1: Giving and Supporting Opinions


To express your opinions like a native, you must:
1. Introduce and give your opinions clearly.
2. Support your opinions with reasons or examples.

Giving and Supporting Opinions is a basic skill you’ll need for any type of IELTS Part III answer. You should use this skill in every one of your Part III lessons and consider it as a basic requirement for all native speaker discussions.

Notice the above example by Sophia that follows the introduction of opinion with reasons and examples. Sophia says that she believes that children in middle school and high school should wear a school uniform because:
…it is essential for giving children a sense of identity and unity.
…children can be very snobbish about fashion and often ridicule and pick on children who don’t wear expensive or designer clothes.

When asked whether university students should wear a uniform, Sophia says that she thinks they certainly should not and gives her reason:
We are all adults…we should have the freedom to choose what we want to wear…

Remember to state your opinion and then give a reason or example to back it up. It’s a
simple formula:
opinion
reasons / examples

Language step 2: Introducing Opinions

Do you think that young people should do more sport in schools today?
Mike
: I certainly do. I think that young people today are getting quite lazy and this is bad for their health. I’m convinced that schools put too much emphasis on academic subjects, so I firmly believe that good sports classes and sports facilities are very important.


Notice how Mike uses native speaker expressions to introduce his opinion. Other examples include:-

Certainly.
Certainly not!
Absolutely not!
Not really.
I’m not sure I agree.
Introducing opinion expressions
I believe that…/I think that…
I don’t believe that…/I don’t think that…
I really think that…
I strongly believe that…
t-1am of the opinion that…
For me
The way I see it…
I am convinced that…

Examples:
A: Do you think that vegetables are an important part of a diet?
B: Sure. I think, that they give people a lot of vitamins.
A: Do you believe people should pay to enter public parks?
B: No, absolutely not! The way I see it, all public parks should be free for everyone.

Language step 3: Supporting Your Opinions


Let’s look at how the IELTS candidate Sophia explains why students should wear a uniform.
Sophia: I strongly believe that it is essential for giving children a sense of identity and unity.

Supporting a positive opinion
Look at these other positive expressions to say why something is a good thing:
It’s good for + verb-ing
It’s essential for + verb-ing
It’s vital for + verb-ing
It’s very important for + verb-ing/ that + clause
People should all + verb
It gives us the opportunity/freedom to + verb
People should make an effort to + verb

Examples:
I really think that people should all try and eat healthily.
A solid education is essential for finding a good job.
Better public transport gives us the opportunity to stop using private vehicles which hurts the
environment. Look at how Sophia expresses why making students in university wear a uniform would be
bad.

Sophia …It would certainly be inappropriate to make university students wear a uniform, and incredibly patronizing too!

Supporting a negative opinion
Look at these other negative expressions today why something is a bad thing:
It would be inappropriate to + verb /for + noun
It could have a bad effect on…
It’s not good for society if people…
It’s unfair to + verb /somebody…
It’s not necessary to + verb
It’s unethical to + verb
It’s unreasonable to + verb

Examples:
I’m convinced that it would be inappropriate to make children under the age of 12 work for a living.
I feel that it’s unfair to deny people health care just because they are poor.
For me, it’s not necessary to make education free because it’s already extremely cheap.

Extra language point Techniques for Supporting Your Opinions


Here are some really useful techniques for supporting your opinions.
Example
For example…
For instance…
Let me give an example…

Example:
For example, whenever I go to a bar there are always people smoking and I breathe in their
smoke. This makes me a smoker even though I don’t want to be.
Common sense
Everyone knows…
It’s common knowledge that…
Example:
It’s common knowledge that birds do not enjoy being trapped in cages!

Statistics
Use numbers.
Use figures to support an argument.
You don’t have to know lots of complicated statistics, but if you do know some very general figures to back up what you want to say, then use them.
Example:
Traffic should be reduced in Beijing. Over 1,000 new cars go onto the roads every day. This
is becoming a major problem.
Expert opinion
According to
To quote
The book says…
I heard / read/saw somewhere that…
Example:
According to many experts, global warming is not actually scientifically proven to exist.

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