in my opinion Vs according to me

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  • Auno

    Banned
    Australia - English
    Say in a heated discussion with...oh I don't know, a Pandina -

    Auno: That is ridiculous.

    Pandina: According to whom?

    Auno: According to me!

    It would be an infrequent usage.

    =========

    What you will see quite often however is -

    "That accords with me"

    Now you mean it agrees with you. It is consistent with you. Etc.

    The rest of the time in English, in the original context here:

    In my opinion/ I believe/ I think/ etc

    ...is the way to go.
     

    giacinta

    Senior Member
    English
    "According to me " is directly from "secondo me" and really means "according to my understanding" when you are discussing the meaning of something.

    If you used the latter in that context it would be fine "secondo me".
     

    skywatcher

    Senior Member
    Italia, Italiano
    A friend of mine told me that she used to say "according to me" while talking to some friends of hers from England, and that they used to laugh... Finally, they explained her that hearing "according to me" in the informal spoken language is really weird nowadays... Since then she's always said "in my opinion"... :D

    Correggete gli errori che avrò sicuramente fatto, please!


    Ciaociao
     

    Auno

    Banned
    Australia - English
    Formal/informal, it's the same.

    But these English should not have laughed.

    In terms of the words, I like the literal translation from the Italian. It 'speaks' well. But, it's not used cosi.

    You are not in 'error'.
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    Is it possible that according to me is only unacceptable in British English? All BE usage guides recommend saying in my opinion:

    ! Do not say 'according to me' or 'according to my opinion/point of view'. Say 'in my opinion' In my opinion his first book is much better.
    (Longman Dict)

    In my opinion, she's sick (NOT: According to me...)
    (Practical English Usage, Oxford UP)
     

    Tatzingo

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    Auno said:
    Formal/informal, it's the same.

    But these English should not have laughed.

    In terms of the words, I like the literal translation from the Italian. It 'speaks' well. But, it's not used cosi.

    You are not in 'error'.
    If they were all friends, this might have been nothing more than a friendly chuckle, as opposed to derisive laughter owing to any "error" made.

    As a BE speaker, i do see why other BE speakers have said that it sounds weird. I agree that in the example you give above - "Q: According to who? A: According to me" it sounds FINE... maybe this is because it is necessary ion the context to emphasise the fact that it is according to ME and not according to John. However, in many other situations in which you would say "secondo me" in Italian, saying "according to me" in BE sounds... contrived, and somewhat horrendous...

    For example, I can't really see anyone (BE) using "according to me" to start a conversation in the way that you would say, "secondo me, quello che deve fare e'...." - This would always be rendered as "In my opinion"... or "I think"...

    Then again, that's just MY opinion... e' cosi' secondo me...

    Tatz.
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    What's really interesting, in my opinion, is that these comments apply only to the 1st person use of the phrase. It is very common, at least in AE, to hear according to him, according to them, according to Katherine, according to the State Board of Health, etc.

    The reason for the disparity is this: according to [someone] is used to signal that what you are saying has been said previously by that "someone," regardless of whether it was an opinion or not. Therefore, according to [someone] is more broad, as it can be a replacement for "John said that..." --> "According to John, ..." Again, John's words do not have to be an opinion either. Moreover, the person saying according to [someone] does not have to have heard the words firsthand from that "someone," but rather could have read them somewhere or heard them second/third/etc.-hand.

    The reason why it sounds awkward to say according to me is that people generally don't talk to themselves. :) Hence, you have not heard yourself say a particular thing. The knowledge of your own thoughts comes directly from you, sans speaking. Now, as I said above, according to [someone] can be used for both opinions and facts. If you are talking in 1st person and want to tell someone your opinion, you just say in my opinion; if you want to tell someone a particular fact, you merely state the fact, with no need to say that it is according to you because you are the one saying it firsthand already! Some examples:

    I don't want to see that movie. According to John (In John's opinion / John told me that) it's the worst movie of the summer.

    According to the box office statistics
    (i.e., based on a [hopefully] factual report, not an opinion), that movie had the lowest turnout of them all.

    In my opinion
    the movie was a huge success! (this is an opinion, 1st person, so according to me sounds awkward)

    In my opinion, the movie theater was completely full for that movie. (this is a person stating a fact in 1st person, so in my opinion is wrong; just state the fact)

    According to John, the movie theater was completely full that night. (this is a person stating a fact in 3rd person, so in John's opinion cannot work; therefore, use according to John)

    The reason why the example a few posts above worked--According to whom? According to me!--is merely because of parallelism. The person asking According to whom? is expecting the response to be 3rd person. It would sound highly awkward for the respondee to answer In my opinion. He therefore answers According to me!

    I hope this has helped. :)


    Brian


    AMENDMENT: I should add real quickly that according to [someone] never implies agreement; it is just a tool to signal that you are stating second- (or third/fourth-) hand what someone else has already stated, as my examples above have hopefully illustrated. Hence, According to John, such & such does not mean I agree with John that such & such. Often it is quite the opposite. The only way we use "accord" in the sense of "to agree" is when we say "I am of accord(ance) with you/him/that" (sono d'accordo con...), or "I concord" (concordo). We also say "in accordance with" to mean "in agreement with," but this doesn't necessarily always apply to people's thoughts/opinions. I suppose if you wanted to use "according" to mean agreeing, you would say According with John, I think that... i.e., Being in agreement with John, I think that.... However, please note that, at least in AE, the use of "accord/according/accordance" is almost never used to mean agreement; we just use some form of agree. So sono d'accord = I agree, or much much less popularly, I am of accord.
     

    Tatzingo

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    brian8733 said:
    What's really interesting, in my opinion, is that these comments apply only to the 1st person use of the phrase. It is very common, at least in AE, to hear according to him, according to them, according to Katherine, according to the State Board of Health, etc.
    Brian
    Nicely explained!

    Tatz.
     

    coppergirl

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    Tatzingo said:
    For example, I can't really see anyone (BE) using "according to me" to start a conversation in the way that you would say, "secondo me, quello che deve fare e'...." - This would always be rendered as "In my opinion"... or "I think"...

    Then again, that's just MY opinion... e' cosi' secondo me...

    Tatz.
    Secondo me, Tatzingo ha ragione! :D

    In BE, we often begin with "In my view. . . " or "Well, in my opinion . . . " but rarely have I ever heard any native speaker start off with "according to me".

    Auno said:
    What you will see quite often however is -

    "That accords with me"

    Now you mean it agrees with you. It is consistent with you. Etc.
    Sorry, Auno, but I have never heard anyone use "That accords with me". Still, it might just mean that it's an Aussie special or else I need to get out more! ;)

    Cheers!
     

    Auno

    Banned
    Australia - English
    coppergirl said:
    Sorry, Auno, but I have never heard anyone use "That accords with me". Still, it might just mean that it's an Aussie special or else I need to get out more! ;)

    Cheers!
    Coppergirl it's no "Aussie special", which I'm hardly inclined to anyway.

    It's all over literature. Getting out or not.
     

    parmatom

    New Member
    English - English
    The only time I've ever heard anyone say 'according to me' is when I say it by accident. And the only reason I say it by accident is if I've been speaking in Italian and haven't quite switched fully to English yet.

    I think the fact that everyone laughs at me when I say it is testament to the fact that nobody in Britain says it. I've never heard it outside circles of confused Italian speaking Brits.

    We say:

    In my opinion
    In my view
    I reckon that (more informal)

    But to be honest we're more likely to simply say:

    I think that

    Unless it's a quite formal setting. If I said 'in my opinion' to mates, for example, they'd think I was being pretentious. But perhaps I just have uncultured mates!

    You DO say 'according to him', but in my opinion (!) that has a slightly sarcastic tone about it. It seems to imply that what follows could be contested in some way:

    According to John, sausages aren't good enough.

    The implication being that you think sausages are just fine.

    Or it can be used to talk about another side to a debate, for instance, or a different point of view:

    Giuseppe Verdi is considered by many as a leading figure of the Italian Risorgimento. According to some scholars, however, there is little evidence to support this claim.

    So perhaps the reason we never say 'according to me' is because we are never sarcastic or doubtful about our own opinions. Hope this doesn't confuse further...
     

    shardaneng

    Senior Member
    italian
    Hello.

    I bring up this old thread to point out a different situation involving the second singular person:

    Would it sound a question like this weird?

    "Is there in Gdynia a nicer beach than in Somot according to you?"

    (volendo esprimere la domanda in italiano: secondo te a Gdynia c'è una spiaggia più carina che a Sopot? Ove Gdynia e Sopot sono due località vacanziere)

    I know that the same concept could be expressed in many different and probably natural ways, but my doubt is about the use of "according to you" in a question.

    Thanks in advance.
     

    Murphy

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    IMHO "according to you" doesn't sound very natural in your particular question. I would be more inclined to say "in your opinion" or even "do you think".

    Eg Do you think there is a nicer beach in Gydnia.....?
    In your opinion, is there a nicer beach......?
    :)
     

    danalto

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    IMHO "according to you" doesn't sound very natural in your particular question. I would be more inclined to say "in your opinion" or even "do you think".

    Eg Do you think there is a nicer beach in Gydnia.....?
    In your opinion, is there a nicer beach......?
    :)
    Sono d'accordo. E poi "according to you" l'ho sempre visto all'inizio della frase: giusto, Murphy? :D (woof)
     

    shardaneng

    Senior Member
    italian
    Si, ero scettico anche io, per quello ho posto la domanda. In realtà ricordo una lezione tanto tempo fa all'università dove mi fu spiegata la differenza di utilizzo. Ma è impossibile che ritrovi quegli appunti.
     

    Murphy

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    Sono d'accordo. E poi "according to you" l'ho sempre visto all'inizio della frase: giusto, Murphy? :D (woof)
    Hi Dani:)
    Yes, you'd usually find it at the beginning and it's usually followed by a statement which the speaker disagrees with or is doubtful about.

    shardenang, there are some very good explanations about the use of "according to..." in this thread, particularly brian's and parmatom's. They should help you clear up any doubts.
    :)
     
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