Sometimes saying things directly may offend and hurt people, you need to soften your language. In this English speaking lesson with Michelle, learn 8 Polite English phrases to tell people the truth or to say They are wrong in a polite manner. These phrases would be extremely useful in formal and informal English communication and help you convey your message without being rude and impolite.
Complete Lesson Transcript : –
Guess what, I really don’t like my best friend’s boyfriend, but what do I do about it? Well, often I think of telling her the truth, but you know the truth is pretty bitter, but I have smart ways of telling the truth in a way that she doesn’t even get hurt. Do you also want to know any such ways in which you can tell the truth without hurting people? Okay, so if you want to learn different ways of telling the truth in English or giving a negative opinion, without making people hurt, then keep watching this lesson as I’m going to tell you some expressions, to give out negative opinions. My name is Michelle and this is such an awesome day, so let’s start, okay so guys here we have certain expressions that we can use to talk about giving negative opinion. So the first one that we have is to be honest, well honesty is the best policy and if you are not honest, you cannot give a negative opinion. Most of the times we try to hide our opinions because they are very, very rude, but now that we’ve decided to give it away, let’s start with this one, “to be honest”, okay, so this is obviously very, very understood what it means, it means that you’re telling someone or you’re giving a bad comment or a negative opinion about something. So like I said, I don’t like my best friend’s boyfriend, I’d say, “to be honest, I really don’t like him”. Okay now that can get very rude, so sometimes because I’m way too honest, I might want to add brutally, brutally means so much that it can even hurt her, okay? So I’m already giving her a warning that I’m going to be brutally honest with you, which means extremely honest, so much that it can even hurt you. So you could either say, “to be honest”, or if you’re way too honest and you could hurt someone, you could say, “to be brutally honest, I don’t like him”. Okay, you could also give an explanation for this and for giving an explanation, we need a different phrase which we’ll come to later in the lesson. Let’s look at the next one for now, “if I’m honest with you”. Now this is also another way of saying the same thing, ‘to be honest’, so you’re trying to give away your opinion by saying the second phrase which is, ‘if I am honest’. So if you think that someone is not right for a job, okay and you have to convey this message you could say that, “if I’m honest, I don’t think you suit this job role”, okay? So this way you’re talking about giving your opinion and a very calm and delicate, gentle way. So, ‘if I am honest’, ‘if I’m honest with you’, so if you only say, “If I’m honest, you’re not suited for this job role”, it’s not wrong, but grammatically we always add with you, with ‘if I’m honest’, okay? Now with this we’ll look at the next one, now we are trying to tell the truth, we are trying to be honest with someone, so we could also say, “to tell you the truth”, so truth, you know what it means, being true to somebody. So ‘to tell you the truth’, is also an expression with a similar meaning like, ‘to be honest’ or ‘if I’m honest’ and again you could use this by saying, “to tell you the truth, I don’t think you’re telling me correctly about what happened”, so here you’re doubting someone, doubting what they are telling you and you are telling your opinion very truthfully. So you are saying this to give a negative opinion or you could also say, “to tell you the truth, I think you should try a different career because I don’t think you will be successful in this career”, so that is again a negative opinion, a criticism, so we go with, ‘to tell you the truth’. Now the next one is, “to be fair”, okay now here as I told you that we will look at a phrase which we use to give an explanation about why we are saying this negative opinion. So if you tell a person that they don’t suit the job roles, so you can say, “I don’t think you suit the job role to be fair, I think you’d be better as a doctor”, okay? So this way you are trying to give an explanation of why you think that they don’t suit that job role, so ‘to be fair’ is used for explanation. Now you can use, ‘to be fair’ in one more way, as an example you could also say that, “this is not the best talk I’ve ever given, to be fair I didn’t have enough time to prepare”. So being fair means you’re being honest, you are not being biased, you are telling the truth, so if you’ve prepared for a talk and you think you did not deliver it too well, you’re giving a reason, I could not do it because I didn’t get time to prepare. But you are connecting these two sentences with, ‘to be fair’. Now similar to, ‘to be fair’ is, “in all fairness”, you use this again for giving explanations and in a sentence you could use it as, “I wasn’t quite impressed by her recent album, in all fairness, I have seen the reviews, but she doesn’t justify them”. So here you’re giving an explanation of why you don’t like a particular artist’s current album or recent album, well because you read the reviews and the reviews were great, but you don’t think it was great enough. Okay, now what does we move to the next one, “don’t get me wrong”, I love teaching you guys. So ‘don’t get me wrong’ is either used in the beginning of a sentence or it’s used in the middle of the sentence and we use this when we are giving a negative opinion and after this phrase we also give a positive opinion. Okay, I think you’re getting too confused, so here’s an example for you, as we were already talking about the job roles, we could say that, “I don’t think you suit this job role, don’t me wrong, you’re a great guy, but I just feel you don’t have the skills”, okay? So here you don’t want someone to misunderstand you, that’s why you’re saying, don’t get me wrong which usually comes in the middle of a sentence, to introduce a positive opinion after giving a negative opinion. To introduce a positive opinion, great! Now, we look at the last two and this is, “I must say that”. So ‘must’ means necessity, which is something which you’re required to do, something which is necessary. Must mean, something is necessary. So we use, ‘I must say that” and “I have to say that”, when we are trying to soften a negative comment, so let’s say you went out for dinner, okay at your friend’s place, but you did not like the meal too much, so you could say, “I must say that I have had better meals”. Okay I know that is rude, but yeah, so ‘I must say that’, will at least soften what you are saying, if you have to at all give a comment like that. But I recommend you don’t say something like that to your friend, otherwise she’ll never call you for a dinner again. Okay now the next one is, “I have to say that” and it’s obviously short for it ‘I have’ okay ‘I have to say that’ and it has the same meaning as, ‘I must say that’ and if you want to use it in the sentence you could say that, I have to say that the dinner wasn’t that great”, which means you did not like the food. So these are two phrases which you use as softeners before giving the comment, okay? And ‘don’t get me wrong’, you use in the middle of the sentence, to give a positive opinion after it, so first you give a negative opinion and then you give a positive opinion and you join these two by saying, ‘don’t get me wrong’. Okay now these two, ‘in all fairness’ and ‘to be fair’ is used for giving explain about why do you think you’re giving the negative comment, so like I said, I gave you an example that, “this is not the best talk I’ve ever given, to be fair I didn’t have enough time to prepare” so here you’re giving an explanation and all these three are very simple ways which you can use in your everyday conversations, where you can generally give negative comment starting with, ‘to be honest’ or ‘if I’m honest with you’ or ‘to tell you the truth’. Okay now, honesty is the best policy as I said, if you do have a negative opinion or a negative comment to make then what are you waiting for? You’ve got the right vocabulary and the right time, so make sure that you give that comment that you’ve been waiting for, and you can use any of these phrases that you want to use. Okay and thank you so much for having me, I’ll see you guys very soon, till then you take care, bye-bye.