Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever heard somebody say “I beg your pardon”?

Is this phrase a bit confusing?

We are going to look at what this phrase means and how to use it.

This is all about how to disagree in a way that doesn’t offend or upset anyone.

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Common Ways To Disagree

A while back we had a question about the phrase “I beg your pardon.”

We have done a couple episodes on this:

A Great Phrase To Know and Use

This phrase may sound a bit formal, and it actually can be.

Though it tends to be a bit more formal, it’s a good one to know and use.

You are sure to use it in a professional or more formal setting, but you can also use it in a humorous way too.

Let’s do an example:

M: Chocolate is gross.

L: I beg your pardon! I think you’re the only person here that feels that way.

L: Ugh that was the worst movie of the year.

M: I beg your pardon, but I actually loved it and it won a ton of Academy Awards.

Depending on the way in which you are using it, the tone of voice will prove to be quite important.

If it’s humorous you want to use a more sarcastic tone of voice.

If it’s more formal then be sure that you are using the right tone of voice to deliver that properly.

Other Ways To Say This

How else can you say this?

The examples above or in general are all a little formal sounding but very professional as well.

These phrases are FANTASTIC for debating people.

Try using one of these phrases that says the same thing, but in a slightly different way.

  • I beg to differ: This can be formal or informal. It’s basically saying that you have a different thought or point of view.

L: New York is the best city in the world.

M: I beg to differ. It’s definitely London!

  • Take issue with something: This one is a little bit more argumentative and may come across as confrontational in nature. Be careful with using this as it may put the other person in a defensive position. You likely wouldn’t use this in a formal setting.

M: I took issue with the way he handled that situation.

L: I’m gonna buy those 1000 dollar shoes for mom. So you’ll chip in?

M: Uh Lindsay. I take issue with that. That’s way too much!

  • Let’s agree to disagree: You may not share the same point of view, and that’s okay. You’re letting it go and saying that you don’t agree and you’re just allowing the disagreement to exist.

L: I think french fries are disgusting.

M: Let’s agree to disagree!

It’s Okay To Disagree In The Right Way

Again, the purpose of today’s episode is to show you how to sound polite when you are disagreeing.

With these phrases, they can be used in a formal situation or even in a debate.

Some of the phrases are definitely more informal, and so you want to choose carefully.

Remember that with any of these phrases, it’s all about intonation.

The tone of voice and the way in which you deliver the message and use the phrase will make all the difference in the world.

Be mindful of how you use it and know that disagreeing is just fine–these phrases can give you a good way to do so.

Roleplay To Help

As always, a roleplay can really help particularly with a phrase like this.

This phrase is one that needs to be used in just the right way, so check out the roleplay for a bit of help.


Lindsay and I are discussing whether people should or shouldn’t be vegetarians

L: So that’s why I think it’s important to stop eating meat all together. Eating meat is the most unhealthy thing you can do, also.

M: I beg your pardon, Lindsay. There are health benefits to eating meat. It’s also the food chain!

L: I take issue with that argument. We can eat plants. Also it’s better for the environment. Also meat doesn’t taste good.

M: I beg to differ! I love meat.

L: Alright Michelle. Let’s just agree to disagree!


These phrases are very useful, and they are used in conversation more than you might realize.

Think about why you are using them, your audience, your intonation, and how it sounds so that you come across the right way.

Be aware if you’re in a formal or informal setting, and that you are using the right phrase with the right person.

Try these today and happy debating in a fun and appropriate way!

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

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

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