Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you’ll learn natural English phrases.

Do you know the difference between ‘I have to say,’ ‘I would say,’ and ‘I would have to say.’

In today’s episode, we answer a listener’s question about these phrases.

Listen in and learn how to tell them apart and use them.

Also, get barbecue tips from American culture.

What do you say?

Lindsay asks Michelle how long it takes them to record an All Ears English episode.

Michelle answers and she says on average it takes about 25 minutes per episode.

This includes setting up equipment and saving the file.

Today’s episode is inspired by a listener question.

Hi, Lindsey. This is Azley from Japan.

I hope you’re doing well.

I have a question about the phrases “I would say”, “I would have to say” and “I have to say”.

Is there any difference between these phrases?

I’m assuming you guys use them before saying your opinions but

is there any other expressions useful for conveying your thoughts?

I appreciate it if I can hear your ideas and suggestions on how to use them correctly. Thank you so much for making an amazing podcast.

I’m looking forward to more great episodes.

This is a fun and nuanced question.

You can check out similar episodes and add more to your learning today.

Listen to episode AEE 955: How to Express Your Opinion When It’s Lukewarm in English.

Express yourself

There are many ways you can share your opinions.

Based on Azley’s question, there can be many contexts with these expressions.

Lindsay and Michelle are going to focus on some main differences today.

Here they are:

#1: “I would say…”

This is used when you are estimating something.

It can also be a good way to think before responding to a question.


Lindsay: How many shirts do we need to order?
Michelle: I would say…six.
Lindsay: Great.

#2: “I have to say…”

This is a good way to express your opinion confidently.

You just have to be careful with how you say it because it can sound pushy.


Lindsay: Why are there ten people when we capped it at 8?
Michelle: Oooh. I have to say, it’s probably because of a computer error.

#3: “I would say…”

This is often used for a hypothetical situation.

You are expressing something that you are confident about.


If he asked me out, I would say no.

#4: “I would have to say…”

This is often used as an introduction phrase.

You can use it to say you are trying to take a guess at something.


Michelle: Where is the party?
Lindsay: I’m not sure, but I would have to say… probably down that hall.
Michelle: Ok I’ll check there!


Lindsay and Michelle share a roleplay to help you better understand today’s phrases.

In this scenario, Lindsay and Michelle are friends talking about an upcoming group party.

Lindsay: So are you going?
Michelle: Of course! I have to say, I am kind of surprised they didn’t invite Sarah.
Lindsay: Me too. Do you think they just didn’t have enough room?
Michelle: I would say…maybe they did but they just felt she may not know anyone?
Lindsay: Yeah, weird.
Michelle: What time does it start?
Lindsay: Ahh I have to find the invitation, but I would have to say…. 7?
Michelle: Ok let me know!


There are many English words that are very similar in meanings and usage.

These have some key differences in tone and how they are used.

Today’s episode encourages you to know the nuanced differences between different English words and phrases.

This will bring your English to a higher level and will definitely help you make stronger connections.

Use what you learned today in your next conversation!

What words are confusing for you?

Share them in the comments below and we might make an episode about it.

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