Expressing Opinions in IELTS Speaking

Lesson 8

Expressing opinions or giving your thoughts is an important part of the IELTS speaking test, especially in part 3 when you have a 2-way discussion with the examiner.

You will also need to justify your opinion or explain why you have that opinion.

By justifying your opinion you will be extending your response and making sure you are having a proper discussion with the examiner which you need to do in part 3.

In this lesson we'll look at some ways to express your opinions and justify them. 

To do this we usually use adverbial phrases at the start of the sentence. 

Here are some ways of expressing opinions or saying what you think about a topic:

Expressing Opinions

Expression Meaning Example


Easy to understand or see Clearly, the economy is not going to improve this year.
Personally Showing that it is your opinion Personally, I don't think the legal drinking age should be reduced. Others may disagree.
Generally Usually, or in most situations Generally, the trains are a lot more reliable than the buses in my country.
Surprisingly Unexpectedly or in a way that is unusual Surprisingly, the government prohibited smoking in all public places last year. I never thought this would happen.
Inevitably In a way that cannot be avoided I didn't study much. Inevitably, I didn't get the score I needed.
Predictably As expected Predictably, problems are now occurring in the city because of overpopulation.
Frankly To be honest and direct Frankly, I wish I'd waited before taking the IELTS test as I'm not ready!


Unhappy, sad or sorry about something Regrettably, my family could never return to their country because of the civil war.

And after expressing your opinions, here are some ways that you can justify them:


Justifying Opinions

Across one sentence
Generally, the trains are a lot more reliable than the buses in my country...

+ Subject Verb: the government has invested a lot of money into the system.

...because the government has...

...since the government has...

...due to the fact that the government has...

+ Noun Phrase:

...because of the government's investment of money into the system.

...due to the government's investment of... a result of the government's investment of... a consequence of the government's investment of...


Across two sentences
Generally, the trains are a lot more reliable than the buses in my country.

+ Subject Verb:

The reason for this is that the government...

This is because the government has...

This is due to the fact that the government has...

+ Noun Phrase:

This is due to the government's investment of...

This is because of the government's investment of...

This is as a result of the government's investment of...

This is as a consequence of the government's investment of...

Expressing Opinions - Practice

Now it's your turn.

In questions 1-5, choose which adverbial phrase should go in the gap. Look carefully at the rest of the sentence. Is it something surprising? Sad? Obvious? Predictable? Typical?

1. , people get married quite late in my country.

2. , we must try and lift people out of poverty to improve standards of living.

3. , I don't think climate change is caused by human actions.

4. , crime is increasing in my city because the government did not increase the number of police like they said they would.

5. , many children are unable to get the education that they need so they end up in low-paid work as adults.

In the next 5 questions, choose the correct justifying phrase to go in the gap. Again, look at the sentence.

You need to decide which one will fit grammatically. Is it followed by a noun or a subject and a verb?

6. Predictably, temperatures are continuing to rise a lack of action by governments.

7. Sadly, more refugees are fleeing the country the war is continuing.

8. Obviously, the failure rate in schools is high the low numbers of teachers.

9. Generally, people are having children later in life. many more women are now working.

10. Personally, I don't believe that unemployment will fall. the unwillingness of companies to hire new staff.

Score =
Expressing Opinions - Correct answers:



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Speaking Lessons

Lesson 1: 
IELTS Speaking Part 2 - Extending Your Answer

Lesson 2: 
IELTS Speaking Part 1 - Improving your Responses

Lesson 3: 
IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Describing Changes

Lesson 4:
IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Talking about the Future

Lesson 5:
IELTS Speaking Part 2 - Mind Map: Structuring your talk

Lesson 6:
IELTS Parts 1-3 - Formality & Getting the tone right

Lesson 7: 
IELTS Speaking Part 2 - A hypothetical situation

Lesson 8: 
IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Giving & Justifying Opinions

Lesson 9: 
IELTS Speaking Part 1 - Types of Speaking Questions for IELTS

Lesson 10: 
IELTS Speaking - Useful IELTS Interview Expressions

Lesson 11: 
IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Using Personal Experiences

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