You know that moment when you are getting into this argument with your pals, or maybe with your colleagues at work, and someone says something from the news or an observation and everyone gets in on it and it’s all fun until someone says, “I beg to differ.”
Now no matter how annoying that can be, you will be very impressed by the hoity-toity proper British English. But what does it mean? Well, it is one of the most polite ways to say, “No way I am agreeing with that. In fact, here is my opinion on the subject”.
It is a good way to make your stance known and no one can exactly say you are proud or rude. You can also use this if you want to state your own opinion on something.
Your opinions might be very different but it’s a good way to introduce your opinion or correct someone on something that doesn’t exactly align with facts.
Now that we know what it means, you have to reply but in a proper way too. Responses like “If you ask me” and “Well I strongly disagree” are better than the normal raised voice that will make you seem uncivilized.
I have compiled together a list of responses, formal and informal, for all your argument needs.
21 Best Replies to “I Beg to Differ”
- Well I strongly disagree
- Now see
- I see your point but
- I understand your point of view, however
- I agree to disagree
- If you ask me
- As far as I am concerned
- If you will let me finish
- Can I throw my two cents in?
- If you consider it from this angle/ this perspective
- If I might add
- I guess I can agree with you on this after all
- I would rather you not. I am not ready for an argument
- I would say the exact opposite
- Beg? Please don’t
- This will get better
- It doesn’t sound like you are
- I beg you to consider
- You always beg to differ
- Not this again
- I love it when he says this. He sounds so British and proper
Grouping the replies will make them easier to navigate through, and these are good to use if you are serious and you want to keep the conversation going.
You can use this anywhere and not have to worry about how appropriate it is. Here they are:
Well I strongly disagree
While this may not sound as nice or seem as polite as “I beg to differ”, it is a way to tell others how much you hold on to your opinion on a particular issue.
Depending on how you say it, you might sound a little too serious or a bit indifferent. It’s a great way to restate your points or introduce a new one.
Another thing is, if you are a third person invited to give your opinion you can start with this after one person has spoken.
This has to be the least friendly on the list. It is used to tell someone sternly that you have set your foot down and you are not moving it for any reason. It doesn’t have to be rude or fierce, but it won’t sound nice.
This response is also good if you want to chide someone for saying something that they shouldn’t. You might kill the vibes but it’s a reply with good uses.
I see your point but
In the case where the person you are speaking to is a person who is really defensive and insists on being heard, any other reply would sound like a challenge so you have to find a response that sounds like you are agreeing with so you can make your argument.
I understand your point of view, however
If you want to use more words or sound fancier, here’s a better option than the one above. It means the same thing and will have the same impact as the reply above.
When you use this response however, be sure that even if you have already made your argument, you marshall out your points again, or new ones altogether.
I agree to disagree
You can use this in situations where you do not want to prolong matters. “I agree to disagree” can also mean “Truce! We are both intelligent people and this is our compromise”.
It might not please the other person if their goal was proving right and convincing you but it would have to do.
If you ask me
Another way to introduce your opinion on a subject. It might not be different from the person you are speaking to but it is more of your opinion, a personal feeling than facts.
This is a great way to start it because you have made it personal to you and you won’t be called out for ignoring facts.
As far as I am concerned
This is also another good response for stating your opinion. It is similar to the one above. While you can use it to begin what you have to say and state facts, it’s also a welcomed way to let people know that it is solely your humble opinion and they shouldn’t think of them as facts.
If you will let me finish
Arguments can get very interesting and in that setting, everyone gets to join in giving all their opinions. If you were interrupted by an excited colleague you can continue with this response.
It is also great if they feel that you are opposing their view, and you can finish whatever it is you were saying.
Can I throw my two cents in?
If you want to be a part of the whole banter, you can ask to join in with this witty sentence. You will sound just as cool and proper and you can slip into the conversation and meet them to know your view and how you feel.
Another thing about this response is you sound polite, and they let you into the conversation.
If you consider it from this angle/ this perspective
While you might not want to be an actor in the unfolding argument drama, you can use this to butt in gently to state a fact. It’s a way to be the spokesman for others who don’t want to join in but have the same thought in mind.
In the end, your say might actually change the course of the argument.
If I might add
When there is a topic up for discussion there are always two sides. Maybe three sides, but it’s mostly always two. Of the two, you can pick a side that you want to support.
This response is a great way to start your speech as a supporting speaker of your party.
I guess I can agree with you on this after all
The saying is “We learn every day” and that might just be the case when you speak with people. You realize that some ideas or knowledge you have are incomplete, wrong, or outdated and in conversing you can listen to others, unlearn the things you need to leave behave and learn what is useful and necessary.
When that’s done, don’t just keep to yourself or nod understandingly. Let them know with this response just how you feel.
I would rather you not. I am not ready for an argument
This is quite frank and while it might not be well received. It is not rude so they will understand and some might cajole you into getting this one.
This response is a good way to escape arguments you can’t handle or you are sure you would lose. It’s also good for closing topics so that they move on to the next thing.
I would say the exact opposite
It is not the best way to gently tell someone you have a different opinion from theirs but we’ll leave them in no doubt what you think of the topic and their own point of view.
It tells them you won’t be easily swayed, and that, if you can also defend your side, should earn you respect.
Beg? Please don’t
Let’s start with something silly. If the mood is getting a little tense or maybe that nice office argument is taking a serious tone, you can throw this in to ease things off.
It may not get the others laughing or dissuading them from continuing the argument but comic relief does make light of such situations and it will be a big help.
This will get better
This might not make sense or even seem funny to you if you don’t know Billy’s Talent song “I Beg to Differ (this will get better)“. It will be a nice corny way to get everyone to laugh and maybe even sing the song.
I’m not a big Billy Talent fan, and you might not be too but if things are getting heated, you can sing this nice song that talks about better days and hope for tomorrow. Nothing calms people or faster.
It doesn’t sound like you are
This joke focuses on beg. Even though it says beg, people don’t actually beg before they state their own different views.
If you have a tough crowd, it might not be something that they will understand at once but you can say more than once and they will understand you.
I beg you to consider
Notice how it rhymes? It’s a good way to make others smile. While you might say this to end that conversation, you can just say it, get people laughing, and ask the person that was speaking before to go on.
You can also use it if you want to appeal to them to see your own point of view. It is a good way to get their attention and establish your stance on a matter. Nice right?
You always beg to differ
This is a very funny way to get the crowd roaring. This reply is a good way to say, “Not today. Please don’t disagree”. It will be okay to use this if you are really trying to ease the mood and get it back to a light and fun atmosphere.
Another reason it will be okay to use is if the person speaking is known for using that phrase a lot. If you qualify for these reasons then go right ahead. For impact, say it with a distressed look or a groan.
Not this again
If you are not one for arguments and someone is about to turn break hour into a debate competition, you can say this quickly.
This might not fare well with them if they are dead serious and bent on proving their point so you can use this response if first, they do use this phrase a lot and two if it will be fine but them and others around. You don’t want to upset people with a joke.
I love it when he says this. He sounds so British and proper
If the person you are referring to is British or has the British accent down already then it kills the joke in this but if he or she isn’t, then they might be flattered and be distracted from prolonging an argument that no one wants to have.
You can even try to imitate them, as this should make them very happy.
Wrapping Things Up
Generally, depending on how you want the conversation to go, you can use whatever replies you want, formal or informal.
Keep in mind that as you use them they should not upset or offend people to avoid squabbles and resentment. If you have more ideas on good responses, drop them below.