【HKDSE English】Introducing Opinions
In the DSE exam, especially in the speaking and writing portions of the exam, it is commonplace for the test candidate to be in a position to introduce their own opinion. As a result, it is essential to have various and diverse ways of introducing ideas.
Now, in most instances, students revert to what is basic, simple and easy. That means, using the two worst words when expressing an idea, “I think.”
In reality, there are many choices to express your thoughts and beliefs so alternatives to “I think” would certainly be something that you as a test taker, must know.
In my opinion
I am of the belief
It could be argued
It is often believed
It has been claimed
Take a look at these questions and see the responses.
Q: What are 3 problems that faces Hong Kong?
A1: I think Hong Kong has many problems. One is air pollution, second is a lack of affordable housing, and third is government corruption.
A2: In my opinion, Hong Kong has quite a few issues. The first would be air pollution. After that, there is an inadequate amount of affordable places to live. Lastly, would be corruption inside the government.
A3: It could be argued, Hong Kong has a few concerns that need to be addressed such as air pollution, an insufficient number of apartments for citizens and finally state corruption.
The A1 response is very basic and is probably one of the simplest ways to answer the question. This in turn though, would end in a very low score.
A2 is a personal opinion and is a good response as it uses good sequencing words and also paraphrases the question with unique vocabulary. This would be a great way to answer the question.
A3 is done in an impersonal fashion and is a good response as it uses “such as” for listing and paraphrases the question. This would be a way to get a high mark.
If the question is asked in a personal fashion, it is better to use a personal way of answering the question. If the question is asked in an impersonal fashion or in a general sense, it is better to use an impersonal way of answering the question.
Q: Why do you think so many of the youth are over-weight nowadays?
A2: Personally, most of the youngsters are fat due to many reasons, primarily because of fast food culture and a lack of exercise.
A3: It could be argued that many juveniles are obese and this phenomenon is mostly contributed to by the constant ingestion of overly processed foods, and all the while the avoidance of physical activity has really inflated this situation.
For response A2, this would be a better response as the question is a personal way of asking. It also paraphrases and uses good vocabulary. This would be a great way to respond.
For response A3, this is a good way of responding though it is done in an impersonal fashion. It may be important to clarify later that it is also your personal opinion. It has good vocabulary and is a good response.
So, in writing and in speaking, instead of using “I think” is critical to your DSE success. Use the alternatives every chance you have as there are many opportunities to introduce and express your ideas and thoughts.
Born in Canada, I’ve taught English for the last seven years in Hong Kong in-person and online. I currently have an IG following of over 5000 followers, and also do streams teaching English to students. In addition, I taught a lot in regards to TOEIC, the HKDSE, and IELTS.