less polite more firm more polite less firm





  = John: Mr Smiths latest book is his best one. It stands out from all other contemporary fiction and really deserves special praise.
  = John asserted/maintained that Mr Smiths latest book was his best one. It stood out from all contemporary fiction and really deserved special praise.
  = Peter: Im the best tennis player in the class.
  = Peter claimed to be the best tennis player in the class.
  = Newspaper article: Mr Jones was seen near the scene of the crime shortly after 22.00.
  = The author of the newspaper article alleged (that) Mr Jones had been seen near the scene of the crime shortly after 22.00.
  Mr Jones was alleged to have been seen near the scene of the crime shortly after 22.00.




1. John   asserted maintained his opinions/views/innocence. his statement to be true. that he was innocent.  
2. John declared his total opposition to the plan. himself (to be) responsible for everything. himself (to be) a supporter of the cause. (that) he knew nothing about their plans.  
3. John protested his innocence. that he had never seen the man.  
4. John affirmed the truth of the statement. (to Peter) that the statement was true.  
5. John alleged (that) he had seen Peter at the races.    
6. Peter was alleged to have been seen at the races.    
7. John made an/the assertion/statement that he was innocent.  
8. John made a solemn declaration that he was innocent.  
9. John made allegations of fraud against Peter.  
10. John made an/the allegation that Peter was responsible for it.  
11. John claimed to be the best singer in the class. to have solved the problem. (that) he had solved the problem.




1. maintain to state your opinion firmly

2. assert to state your opinion firmly, but often without proof to support it

3. claim to state your opinion, but without proof to support it

4. declare to state your opinion officially and publicly

5. affirm (formal) to state your opinion firmly and publicly, usually again or in answer to a question or doubt

6. protest to state your opinion very firmly, especially when other people do not believe you

7. allege to state that something is true or that someone has done something wrong, but without proof to support it



Admitting and denying


  = John: You were quite right, Peter. Now I see that I mustve made a mistake.
  = John admitted having made a mistake and recognised (that) Peter had been right.
  = John: I dont know this man. Ive never met him before.
  = John flatly denied knowing the man.




1. John   admitted (to) confessed to his mistake/defeat/guilt. stealing/having stolen the watch.
2. John admitted confessed (to the police) (that) he had stolen the watch.
3. John acknowledged his mistake/defeat. himself defeated. being ignorant of the facts having made a mistake. Peters being a superb tennis player. Peter to be a superb tennis player. (to Peter) that he had made a mistake.
4. John made an admission of guilt/failure. that he had done it all wrong.
5. John made a full / forced / public / voluntary / deathbed confession (of his guilt)/that he had accepted bribes.
6. John forced/extorted a confession from Peter.  
7. John recognised the difficult position he was in. Peter as an authority on the subject. Peter to be an authority on the subject. (that) the situation was hopeless.
8. John accepted the fact of Peters disappearance. the claim that Peter had succeeded in it. that their plan might be shelved.  
9. John conceded defeat/a point in the argument. (to them) that Peter was a good player.
10. John granted the logic of her argument. (Peter) (that) Peter/the latter was honest.


1. John denied all allegations/any knowledge of their plans. knowing anything about it. ever having met Peter. that he had ever met Peter. it to be true. (formal)
2. John categorically / emphatically / fervently / flatly / strongly / vehemently denied all allegations.



1. accept | acknowledge to agree that something is right or true or that a situation exists

2. admit (1) to agree unwillingly that something is true or that someone else is right

(2) confess to say that you have done something wrong or illegal, especially to the police

3. confess (1) to say that you have done something wrong or illegal, especially to the police

(2) to admit something that you feel embarrassed about

4. recognise to agree, often unwillingly, that something is true

5. concede to agree unwillingly that something is right or true

6. grant to agree that something is true although it does not make much difference to your opinion

7. deny to say that something someone has said about you is not true


Agreeing and disagreeing


  = Mr Jones: Mr Brown seems to be the best candidate for the job.
  Mr Smith: Thats just what I think. We must give him a chance.
  = Mr Jones expressed his opinion that Mr Brown seemed to be the best candidate for the job and Mr Smith agreed with him about it.
  = John: I liked Mr Browns performance. He was superb yesterday.
  Peter: Do you really think so? Personally I think he overacted his part in the play.
  = John said (that) he had liked Mr Browns performance the night before. But Peter disagreed with him on the point, he thought (that) Mr Brown had overdone his part in the play.
  John and Peter disagreed about Mr Browns performance the previous night. John had enjoyed his acting, whereas Peter had got the impression that he overdid his part in the play.



1. John thought it was a good idea, but Peter didnt agree.  
2. John agreed with Peter (about/on the matter/point).    
3. They agreed about/on the matter/terms/price. to stay at home/to go to Spain on holiday. on a trip to Spain/on Spain for their holidays.  
4. They agreed on making a trip to Spain. (that) they should go to Spain on holiday. (that) James was the best tennis player in the country.  
5. They agreed (as to) how it should be done.    
6. They were all agreed on going to Spain for their holidays. (that) the plan was feasible.  
7. They completely / entirely / fully / wholeheartedly agreed about the matter.  
8. John agreed to Peters suggestion/proposal/offer/idea. Peters marrying Jane.  
9. John readily/willingly/reluctantly/unwillingly agreed to the plan.  
10. They expressed / reached (complete / full / mutual / solid) agreement about/on all points.  
11. They were in (full) agreement with them (about/on all points). with their decision. about/on/over that point. with what he said.  
12. They came to/arrived at/made/reached an agreement with their business partners.  
13. John asked Mary if she was ready to start off and she nodded/nodded (her) agreement.  
14. The committee members nodded in agreement with the chairperson.  
15. There was no agreement about/on what should be done.  
16. John consented to Peters marriage/their proposal. to Peters marrying Jane. to do the job.  
17. John gave / refused his consent (to the plan / his daughters marriage).  
18. John fell in with went (along) with played along with Peter (on that point/question). Peters suggestion/proposal/idea.  
19. They were all of one mind/of the same mind/of like mind (about/on the matter).  
20. They were/operated/worked on the same wavelength.  
21. John saw eye to eye/was eye to eye with Peter (on that vital issue).  




1. John and Peter disagreed (completely/sharply).  
2. John (strongly) disagreed with Peter (about/on/over the teacher/question). with his statement/opinion. about/on/over the teacher/ matter. about/on/over what should be done.  
3. John expressed his/a disagreement with Peter (about/on/ over/as to the problem).  
4. John expressed his/a disagreement with Peters decision.  
5. They resolved their/the disagreement about/on/over the problem.  
6. John was in (total) disagreement with Peter (about/on/ over the matter). with Peters decision. with what Peter said.  
7. John and Peter were in disagreement about/on/over that point.  
8. John differed from/with Peter (about/on/over the point). Peters opinion (about/on/over the matter).  
9. They differed about/on/over the question of cost/pay.    
10. They had a difference of opinion over the matter. over who should do it.  
11. John clashed with Peter (at the meeting). (with Peter) on/over the question of cost.  
12. They clashed at the meeting.    
13. There was a (wordy) clash/conflict between the two opponents at the meeting.    
14. There was a (wordy) clash/conflict of opinions/views between them/at the meeting.  
15. John parted company with Peter on/over that point.  
16. John contradicted Peter. Peters statement.  
17. John pointed out an apparent / basic / glaring / inherent contradiction in Peters story/between the two statements.  
18. They were/operated/worked on different wavelengths.  




1. agree (1) to have the same opinion about something as someone else

(2) to make a decision with someone after a discussion with them

(3) to say yes to an idea, suggestion, offer, invitation, etc.

2. consent to give your permission for something or agree to do something

3. fall in with | go along with to agree with someone or someones ideas, suggestions, decisions, etc.

4. play along (with) to pretend to agree with someone or someones ideas because you want to gain an advantage for yourself or to avoid a quarrel

5. be/see eye to eye (with) to agree completely with someone; to have the same opinion as someone else

6. be of one mind/of the same mind/of like mind to agree with someone about something

7. be/operate/work on the same wavelength (informal) to have the same opinions and feelings as someone else


8. disagree to have or express a different opinion from someone else

9. differ to have or express an opposite opinion to someone else

10. clash to express, by way of argument, very different opinions and beliefs from someone else

11. part company (with) to no longer agree with or think the same as someone else

12. contradict (1) to express a complete disagreement with someone

(2) to disagree with something written or spoken by saying that it is wrong or not true, especially by saying that the opposite is true

13. be/operate/work on a different wavelength (informal) to have different opinions and feelings from someone else




  = John: Im all against this plan. Its unrealistic.
  = John strongly objected to the plan on the grounds that it was unrealistic.
  = The police sergeant: Of course you know this man.
  John: But I dont. I see him for the first time.
  = The police sergeant was sure that John knew the man but John protested that he had never seen him.




1. John   (strongly) (violently) objected to the new plan/airport. to the plan being implemented. to being treated like a child. to Peters/Peter treating him like a child. in strong language.  
2. John objected (against Peter) (that) he was too old to do the job.  
3. John had/made/raised/voiced/lodged a serious/strong/ strenuous/valid/violent objection to the new plan/starting early/their starting early.  
4. John took (great) exception / objection to Peters rude remarks/what Peter said.  
5. They (strongly/strenuously/vehemently/vigorously) opposed the government/their plans/doing business with them/his leaving the country.  
6. John was opposed to Peters idea/suggestion/proposal. Jims/Jim applying to the university.  
7. Their proposal aroused stirred up came across met with was up against came up against ran up against determined fierce stiff strong unbending unyielding vehement opposition.  
8. They put forward/offered a lot of opposition to that proposal.  
9. They crushed/overcame their opposition on the question.  
10. They protested (bitterly) (loudly) (strongly) (vigorously) against the war/new factory. against the new factory being built. against (his) being maltreated. the war. (AmE) to the manager (about his decision). when the managers decision was announced.  
11. John protested his innocence. (to the police) that he had never been near the scene of the crime.  
12. They made a strong protest to the manager about his decision.  
13. They filed/registered a strong protest with the minister about the new airport.  
14. They expressed / voiced a strong protest against the managers decision.  
15. The people cried out against the unjust imprisonment of the honest doctor.  
16. They made / raised an outcry against / for the railway closure.  
17. John stood/stuck out against Peters idea.  
18. John was/went (all) against Peter. his idea/suggestion/proposal. (Peter) going abroad.  
19. John sided/took sides against Peter in the argument.  
20. John sided/took sides with Peter in the argument.  




1. object to feel or express disapproval of something, especially by presenting arguments against it

2. take exception/objection to to object to something and to be angry or upset because of it

3. oppose to disagree with something such as a plan or idea and try to prevent it from happening or succeeding

4. be opposed to to dislike and refuse to accept something or doing something

5. protest (1) to say or do something publicly to show that you disagree with or are angry about something that you think is wrong or unfair

(2) to state very firmly that something is true, especially when other people do not believe you

6. cry out against to complain strongly or protest strongly about something

7. stand out against | stick out against (informal) to be strongly opposed to an idea, plan, etc.

8. take sides to choose to support a person or group against the other in a quarrel, fight, etc.

9. side against | take sides against to argue against a person or group in a quarrel, fight, etc.

10. side with | take sides with to support a person or group in a quarrel, fight, etc.




  = John: Im sorry to complain, but the video I bought from you two days ago is damaged. I want it replaced.
  = John complained (to the salesman) about the video he had bought two days before. It happened to be damaged and he wanted it replaced.
  = John: I wish you wouldnt have your radio on quite so loud.
  = John grumbled to his son that he/the latter had his radio on much too loud.



John complained to the shop (about/of the television). about/of Peter/his behaviour. (to the manager) that there was no hot water.  
John expressed voiced made filed lodged submitted a (bitter) (legitimate) (loud) (justified) (unjustified) complaint against Peter. about the service.  
John filed lodged a complaint (with the manager).  
John submitted a complaint (to the manager).  
John grumbled about/over the weather/Peters work. at Peter/his work/new taxes. (out) a reply. (to Peter) that he was overworked and underpaid.  
John grouched about the weather.    
John always had a grouch about something. (informal)    
John whined about his bad luck. (out) a few words to them/requests for help. (to Peter) that he had been cheated.  
John murmured against/at the government/new taxes.    
John reported the boy (to the head teacher) (for smoking in school).  
John informed against/on Peter.  
John told/sneaked on Peter.    



complain to say that you are annoyed, dissatisfied, or unhappy about something or someone

make a complaint | file/lodge/submit a complaint (formal) to complain officially to someone

grumble to complain in a quiet but bad-tempered way

grouch (informal) to complain in an angry way

whine to complain in a sad, annoying voice about something

murmur to complain to friends and people you work with, but not officially

report to complain about someone to people in authority

inform against/on to tell the police or an enemy information about someone that will harm them

sneak on (informal) | tell on (informal) to tell someone, such as a parent or teacher, about something that another person has done wrong, because you want to cause trouble for that person



Warning and threatening


  = John: Look out! Theres a crocodile on your left!
  = John warned Peter of a crocodile on his left.
  = John: Keep away from her! You touch her and Ill kick your teeth in!
  = John threatened to kick Peters teeth in if he didnt keep away from Mary.




John warned (Peter) about/of the danger. Peter against pickpockets/bad roads. Peter against travelling round the world. Peter off (his land/going out with her). Peter to be careful/not to go near the dog. (Peter) (that) there were pickpockets there.
John gave Peter a warning to stay away from the house.  
John cautioned Peter. Peter about bad roads. Peter against going there alone. Peter not to go there alone. (Peter) that it would be a difficult job.


John threatened revenge. Peter (with a gun/dismissal). to resign. that he would resign.
John made uttered a threat (against Peter). (to resign). (that he would resign).
John said it in a threatening tone/voice/manner. threateningly/menacingly.
John spoke with menace.  
Johns speech/words was/were filled with menace.  




warn | caution to tell someone that something bad or dangerous may happen, so that they can avoid it or prevent it

warn against to advise someone not to do something because it may have dangerous or unpleasant results

warn off to tell someone, using threats, to go away, or not come near something, or avoid something

threaten | menace (formal) to say that you will cause someone pain, unhappiness, or trouble if they do not do what you want







1. John hinted at Peters meanness/the possibility of an early election. to Peter nothing of his intention. (to Peter) (that) they should try to reach a compromise.
2. John dropped a (broad) (obvious) (delicate) (subtle) hint about his possible early arrival. that he would like to go to the theatre.
3. John took the hint (about Peters possible early arrival). (that he would like to go to the theatre).
4. John intimated a wish to go by saying (that) it was too late. his wishes to Peter. to Peter his intention to go into business. (to Peter) that he should work harder. how he was planning to tackle the problem.
5. John gave (Peter) an intimation that he was going to start up a business of his own.
6. John implied/insinuated (to Peter) that she was not telling the truth.
7. His remarks implied (that) he hadnt enjoyed the holiday.
8. John made unpleasant insinuations that Peter took bribes.
9. John made cast threw out an innuendo about Peter/his past life. against the President. that Peter had lied.



1. hint | intimate (formal) to say something in an indirect way, but so that someone can guess what you mean

2. imply to say in an indirect way that something is true

3. insinuate to say something which seems to mean something unpleasant without saying it directly

4. innuendo an indirect remark about something bad that someone has done


Concealing information



1. John concealed hid his thoughts (from his wife). the fact that he hadnt been to Italy.
2. John concealed what he thought about it.  
3. John held back/kept back the secret/bad news (from Peter).
4. John kept the secret/bad news from Peter.  
5. John kept his plan/ideas secret/a secret (from Peter).
6. John suppressed/repressed the truth about the accident.
7. They covered up hushed up smothered up the scandal. the fact that Peter had lied.



1. hide | hold back | keep (back) to deliberately not tell people information

2. conceal (formal) to hide something carefully

3. cover up | hush up | smother up (informal) to prevent the public from knowing about something dishonest or immoral



Functions of thinking and reasoning

: 2015-09-04; : 256.


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