Expressing your opinion is very important when you hold a conversation with native speakers, especially if you want to keep flowing the ideas giving the conversation a spontaneous atmosphere.
Have you ever talked to a foreigner who is just starting to learn your language? Usually, all he has to say are things like: “yes”, “no”, “how are you?”, “I’m fine and you?” You probably agree with me that these kinds of conversations are not very interesting so to speak.
Most of the time, interesting conversations are those where opinions come and go, or whenever you hear something and you start forming an opinion about this topic in your mind. However, you need to know how native speakers express their opinion, in order to keep the conversation going.
Keep the flow of the conversation
Every time you talk to someone in Spanish, try to reduce your anxiety as much as you can. As the other person speaks, try to keep your cool and don’t panic if you think the person is talking too fast.
Relax and keep listening to the other person, try to catch as many words as you can so you can get a context of what he or she is saying.
Here’s a tip that has helped me every time I don’t understand English or a person who’s talking too fast: whenever the other person stops talking, you just ask with a friendly tone: “¿cómo así?”(What do you mean?) Or “¿Qué quieres decir?” (What do you mean?).
-¿Qué quieres decir?
These two expressions will make the other person explain him/herself a little better, which means that you’ll have another chance to understand what they are trying to tell you.
Don’t you ever say: “No, I can’t”, or “I don’t understand Spanish,” just keep trying, and if you really think that you can’t understand the other person, after asking him to explain himself a second time, request him to speak a little slower in a kind way: “Hablame un poquito más despacio porfavor”, but don’t give up.
As the other person talks, try to keep a nice posture, just let him know that you are listening and don’t make annoying facial expressions trying to tell him that you don’t understand.
How to express your opinion on any topic
After you listen carefully to the other person, and you feel like you really got a good context of what he or she just said, it is time for you to express your opinion.
Humans tend to make everything worse when we feel stressed out, so you just relax, nobody is going to die because you say one word the wrong way.
Just chill out and start talking, remember that the most important thing here is that you can communicate your ideas, not that you speak perfectly.
Here are 8 ways to express your opinion in Spanish:
1- “¿Sabes qué? …”: This basically means “you know what?…”, you could say something like this: “¿Sabes qué? No me gusta mucho la sopa de tomate”
2- “yo creo que…”: It means basically, “I think that…”, an example would be: “Yo creo que lo mejor es que tomemos poco hoy”
3- “No creo que…”: It means, “I don’t think that…”, which would be just, you giving a negative opinion, an example is: “No creo que te guste mucho lo que te voy a decir pero…”
4- “Yo pienso que…”: Same as, “yo creo que…”, there’s no difference, you are just expressing your thoughts, for example: “Yo pienso que es mejor jugar fútbol que videojuegos”
5- “Para mí que…”: If you say this, you’re trying to express that you have a feeling. Your gut tells you something and you need to say it, here’s an example: “Para mi que tu novia no va venir esta noche”
7- “En mi opinión…”: Saying this, you’re being direct, you express your opinion and that’s it, for example: “En mi opinión, tu no deberías salir tan enfermo”
8- “En realidad…”: I know this word means “actually”, but for expressing your opinion, this word is just a filler that marks the beginning of your opinion, for example: “En realidad, tengo que pensar bien que computador comprar”
Here’s a little but an effective tip to sound more like a native speaker, just add the word “Pues” before the beginning of every one of the former phrases and you will sound like a pro(especially in Medellín, Colombia) It would be something like this:
Pues… ¿Sabes qué?
Pues, yo creo que…
Pues, no creo que…
Pues para mí que…
Pues, en mi opinión…
Pues, en realidad…
“Pues”, doesn’t mean anything, it is just a filler, but it will make you sound way better.
Always express yourself respectfully and in a relaxed way. Pay close attention to how native speakers express their opinion and imitate the way they do it, in the end, it’ll be a huge improvement for your Spanish.