Agreement and Disagreement

Today in class my students were debating which of two things was more necessary.

agree disagree debate argue consensus ESL English Idioms devil's advocateSometimes everyone in the group agrees.

We can say in such a situation that everyone came to an agreement or that the decision was unanimous. Or we can say that they came to a consensus. If you prefer an idiom to express this, you could say: Everyone in the group was on the same page.

 

Sometimes there is a holdout in the group. This person sticks to his guns and doesn’t give in. He won’t change his mind. This person doesn’t see eye to eye with his group mates.

agree disagree debate argue consensus ESL English Idioms devil's advocate

In fact, this person may enjoy arguing for the sake of arguing. She may wants to take the opposing side to make her friends work harder to defend their position. This is called playing devil’s advocate. I could say: “Holly, why do you always have to play the devil’s advocate? Tell me what you really think!”

agree disagree debate argue consensus ESL English Idioms devil's advocate

When you try to make someone agree with you, you try to persuade him or win him over. If you succeed you can say: I won him over. I changed his mind.

Discussion Questions:
  • What was the last decision that you and your friends made unanimously?
  • Have you ever been the holdout in a group? Have you ever stuck to your guns? About what?
  • Have you ever played devil’s advocate?
  • When was the last time that you changed someone’s mind? How did you do it?

 

If you have more questions about “Agreement” and “Disagreement,” check out these related blog posts from PELA!

Tricky Verbs: Depends, Means, Agree, Disagree

How to Express Agreement or Disagreement

 

comments