by Liz Walter
You will probably already know several ways to express your opinions in English. This post is about something different: the words we use with the noun opinion – in other words, its collocations.
Many people hold strong opinions about gun law.
He has some strongly held opinions about education.
Similarly, although we can ask someone’s opinion, if we want to be a little more formal or literary, we can say we seek it. With the uncountable sense of ‘opinion’, meaning the views of a group of people, we also use the verb canvass:
They conducted a survey to seek opinions from their employees.
We want to canvass public opinion about the proposed development.
She was never afraid to voice her opinions.
I don’t have a very high opinion of doctors.
She had formed a favourable opinion of the hotel.
I had rather a poor opinion of her acting skills.
If you respect or value someone’s opinion, you think it is useful or important. A considered opinion has been thought about a lot, and a valid opinion is one that is reasonable and should be accepted:
I’ve always respected my parents’ opinions.
His opinion is valid, but I don’t agree with it.
Of course, one of the key characteristics of opinions is that people have different ones! We say that opinions differ/vary/are divided over a particular issue. If something is a matter of opinion, people have different views about it. Conflicting opinions are very different and make compromise difficult, and when opinions are polarized, they are completely opposite:
On this issue, opinions are divided.
Whether or not the course is worth doing is a matter of opinion.
They split up because of their conflicting opinions about religion.
These experiences helped shape her opinion of the healthcare system.
I thought she was a bit boring, but after this evening, I’ve revised my opinion!
I hope you have found these collocations useful. Many of them can be used in other contexts which, in my humble opinion, make them well worth learning!