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 (50 votes)
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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.

Submitted by Ali_Ahmed on Tue, 12/09/2023 - 01:23


I am not working at the moment, so I'll talk about an unusual idea I tried at school. I tried convincing my roommates to have a 5-minute run and some workout every day after the school day to stay fit and healthy. Unfortunately, we stopped doing this because we were busy with school work and studying.

Submitted by Montemu96 on Mon, 11/09/2023 - 03:52


One time, my peers and I tried to practice English every day at work. The practice consisted of learning five new words and challenging each other using these. We only did that one day haha I think that we were already exhausted with the work issues.

Submitted by thaokim2003. on Sun, 30/07/2023 - 03:36


i am a student at the university and i don't usually give unusual ideas because I'm afraid that my suggestions are not suitable for the classes. But maybe in the future i will try to give some special ideas to teachers and my classmates

Submitted by Emma WoodHouse on Wed, 19/07/2023 - 14:43


In my previous job, I was a primary teacher. I thought of many new ideas that we can consider to make learning fun for pupils. However, I did not have the chance to share them all. Because I am fond of drawing especially Mandala art, the only idea that the school was ready to go for was adding a newly different kind of art to the Art subject. I manage to arrange a schedule for some of my best classes. I got to teach them how to draw different patterns and combine colors to get a creative result, we end up organizing a competition where pupils have to draw their mandala and exhibit the final result to their parents, while the parents have to vote for the best one. The students were madly obsessed with the process. In the end, everyone, the teachers, the parents, and I were so happy that they have learned something new and exciting that they will remember forever.

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Submitted by Mont_Albert19 on Fri, 07/07/2023 - 22:09


I have a lot of ideas on my mind, and maybe in the future can share them with my office partners.

Submitted by kelvinkm on Tue, 04/07/2023 - 05:37


Another important expressions and phrases I have learned just today!