Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you find it hard to express your opinion about touchy situations in English?

Do you want to offer your opinion in English but worry about upsetting people?

Do you wish you had the right things to say when you have something important to offer especially when you are speaking to someone in English?

We’re going to help you find the right words and approach to offering your opinion, even if it’s unsolicited advice.

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Here’s a letter that talks through a commonly used phrase in this area.

Hello girls!

I’ve been a great fan of your shows for almost a year. You are doing a great job to improve English learners’ communication skills.

Now I have a question for you. I came across the expression “feel like two cents”. Could you please explain the meaning and how to use it in conversations? And why “two cents”?

I am curious about where the expression came from.

I would be really honored if you can pick this topic for your show someday!

Thank you,

Yumi from Japan

Considering How This Phrase Is Used

You may not have heard “two cents” used like in the example, but you may have heard it used in other ways.

The origin is a bit confusing, but it is generally about getting “my two penny’s worth.”

This phrase is great when you want to be a bit less direct about offering your opinion.

You have something to say or to offer, but you don’t want to offend or seem like you are intruding.

Rather than coming right out and blurting out your opinion, you may instead wish to be kinder in your approach.

That’s where “offer my two cents” or phrases of the like can really work well.

The Right Approach and Words Can Really Help

It’s not always easy to give your opinion because people may get offended or not want to hear what you think.

This is a way to make what you say a little less intense where your opinion is concerned.

How else can you say this something like this while offering your opinion and not upsetting anyone?

  • That’s just what I think: It’s direct as you are literally telling the person what you think. You aren’t making a big deal out of it and you’re not trying to make them feel bad. This is strictly and honestly your opinion. “That sounds like a great program, but it also sounds like a lot of work. That’s just what I think, but good for you for trying it out.”
  • For what it’s worth: This is my opinion and I just want you to hear it. It may not be worth much to you, but I think it might and so I want to offer it up. It’s very common and it creates a very nice approach. “For what it’s worth you should go with somebody to that side of town. It can be a bit unsafe after dark.”
  • Not to overstep my boundaries: You are being very honest that you don’t want to be out of line in offering your opinion. You acknowledge that this is unsolicited advice, but it can put people at ease right away. “Not to overstep my boundaries, but it’s really cold out and you should bundle up so you don’t freeze.”
  • All I’m saying is/that’s all I’m saying: You’re keeping it short and sweet but still offering your opinion. You don’t want to start a fight but you do want to be sure taht they know your feelings on something. “All I’m saying is that you may be able to find a less expensive place for dinner. That place is a fortune!”

These are all great ways to get your opinion offered without upsetting anyone.


These phrases let you give unsolicited advice.

People don’t always want your opinion, so you want to be sure that you are saying the right thing in the right way.

These phrases can help to lessen what you are saying so the person doesn’t think you are being too pushy.

If you have something to offer, then using one of these can help and then it’s all in the delivery.

Remember tone of voice and approach matters just as much for ensuring that you get your point across and make a great connection!

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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