Challenging someone's ideas

In this video, Vanya tells Paul and Emir about her latest idea. Listen to the language they use for challenging someone's ideas and practise saying the useful phrases.

Do the preparation exercise first. Then watch the video and do the exercises to check your understanding and practise the language.


Ana: Hi! I'm Ana. Welcome to What to Say

Do you know what to say when you want to challenge someone's ideas? Listen out for useful language for challenging someone's ideas. Then, we'll practise saying the new phrases – after this.


Vanya: Guys! I've got it! I've figured it out!

Emir: Figured what out?

Paul: That it's polite to knock on the door before coming in? 

Vanya: This idea is just too good, Paul! It's too good!

Paul: Go on, then.

Vanya: So! Cats!

Emir: I'm a bit lost. What are you talking about?

Vanya: Videos. Cat videos! For our social media account. Hundreds of them. Everyone loves cats! 

Paul: I hate cats.

Vanya: Everyone except you, Paul.

Paul: Have you considered the fact that we're a branding agency, not a pet shop?

Vanya: I take your point, Paul, but, come on, be imaginative! Cat videos are some of the most searched videos on the internet.

Emir: I see where you're coming from, Vanya, but I think I agree with Paul here. How is this relevant for a branding agency?

Vanya: Look. Social media, it's a numbers game. If we share dozens of cat videos each day, then we get more followers. 

Emir: That's true. So how exactly do you see this working? I mean, who's going to find all these videos?

Vanya: Erm, OK, I'm very aware of the challenges here, but I'm convinced this is going to work.

Paul: I'm not so sure.

Emir: Well, I guess you have to look at it from both sides. Why don't we try it for a couple of weeks and see if there's any impact?

Vanya: Great! We are going to get so many more followers. I'm absolutely positive! 

Paul: Good luck with that! I hope it doesn't turn out to be a cat-astrophe ... What? ... It's a good joke.


Ana: Hello again! Well, I thought that was a good joke! So, did you notice the useful phrases used for challenging someone's ideas? Listen to me and then repeat. 


I'm a bit lost. What are you talking about?

Have you considered the fact that we're a branding agency, not a pet shop?

I take your point, but be imaginative. 

I see where you're coming from.

I think I agree with Paul here.

How exactly do you see this working?

I'm very aware of the challenges here, but I'm convinced this will work. 

You have to look at it from both sides.


Ana: Try and use some of these phrases the next time you want to challenge someone's ideas in English. Bye for now! 


Worksheet117.83 KB

Language level

Average: 4.9 (72 votes)
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Submitted by Anastacha on Wed, 28/02/2024 - 17:38


yes, Once we take note about of birthday date all workers and in the moment of it brithday, we did celebrated with a cake.

Submitted by manuel.esteve77 on Sat, 24/02/2024 - 07:17


Fun, entertaining and productive for learning while enjoying it, excellent video quality, and with activities that motivate you. Without a doubt, high-quality materials. I love the British Council!

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Submitted by Leandro18_ on Fri, 26/01/2024 - 00:19


it's funny the fact that I've never been in a office because I'm currently studying English and I'm just an student who wants to achieve his goals, But I'm sure, perhaps in the future I'll be talking with other foreing guys in a office, and I think that will be a good experience, but at the moment, I'm still studying. Thanks very much for all this useful frases, I might use them in my next conversation with my friends.

Submitted by Imano on Mon, 08/01/2024 - 08:59


Actually, I have never tried unusual ideas at work because we simply don't discuss ,,,,i wish we could discuss and express ourselves.

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Submitted by nlnswg12 on Wed, 03/01/2024 - 01:43


that was great, I don't use unusual words at work.

Submitted by walaaHafez on Wed, 20/12/2023 - 19:09


I never tried to suggest new ideas ay work. Though I think that sometimes I can come up with brilliant ideas, but I am always too shy to suggest what I have in mind.

Submitted by Toan3002 on Tue, 12/12/2023 - 02:13


I haven't ever thought up any unusual ideas at work.

Submitted by stellamarysl on Thu, 30/11/2023 - 17:56


I don't like to bring up ideas to work because I want to get minimally involved as it is.

Submitted by Rosedodo on Tue, 03/10/2023 - 17:37


I tried new ideas, some of which worked in changing decisions during discussions regarding the visibility of our company

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Submitted by Ramiro Solana on Fri, 29/09/2023 - 20:06


It wasn't actually a new idea, but it was very unusual in a job I had 10 years ago: we used to have many meetings with other areas during the week where the host would provide something to drink and eat for the guests, which was always coffee, cookies and croissants. So I went to a grocery store near the office and arranged with them to send me a tray full of peeled and sliced fruit for every meeting I had to schedule. All attendees were shocked to have colorful and healthy food for the meeting and it was a great success. Unfortunately, in the other jobs I had since then, even though I tried, I was never able to fix the same thing again with another grocery store.