Everyone has opinions. Everything we see and do shape the way we view the world. These views are valid to us, but it’s important to specify when something is our own opinion rather than a verified fact. If you need to do this, is it correct to say “in my opinion”?
It is correct to use “in my opinion” when presenting personal views and beliefs. It comes before or after your statement. For example, “In my opinion, my school is great,” or, “My school is great, in my opinion.” This prepositional phrase helps express your beliefs on any topic in informal contexts.
Next, we’ll walk through the meaning of “in my opinion,” how to use it, and the grammar behind it. We’ll also look at other common prepositional phrases and how we use them in English.
What Does “In My Opinion” Mean?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines “opinion” as a noun that indicates one’s judgments or beliefs (source). Through the use of a preposition and a possessive pronoun, this phrase means the speaker personally believes the attached statement. For example, “In my opinion, my school is great” means the speaker believes their “school is great.”
“My” is a possessive pronoun that tells us the “opinion” belongs to the speaker. “In” is a preposition that indicates the attached statement exists within the speaker’s “opinion.”
Let’s look at the above example to show how this works.
- In my opinion, my school is great.
The statement of belief is “my school is great.” The speaker shows their belief in this statement through “my opinion.” “My” indicates that the expressed “opinion” belongs to the speaker. “In” gives the belief direction within the speaker’s “opinion,” and thus, we see how “my school is great” falls within the speaker’s “opinion.”
How Do You Use “In My Opinion”?
“In my opinion” begins a sentence or comes after a statement of belief. This phrase is a sentence fragment and must be accompanied by the belief; otherwise, the term does not present a complete idea. Alone, this phrase merely indicates that the speaker has an “opinion” and does not explain the “opinion.”
Here are two examples of how this phrase can appear within a sentence.
- In my opinion, Toyota vehicles are well-built.
- Toyota vehicles are well-built, in my opinion.
“Toyota vehicles are well-built” presents the speaker’s belief. Without this portion of the sentence, the reader has no idea what the speaker’s “opinion” is.
When Can You Use “In My Opinion”?
You can use “in my opinion” any time you wish to express a personal view or mindset. This phrase does not indicate expertise or education but only says the speaker is sharing a belief. Opinions do not have to rely on fact, although others will more readily agree with an opinion based on fact.
You don’t have to be an expert on child development to have an “opinion” on parenting styles. But, at the same time, your “opinion” holds more validity if you’re educated in child development or have children of your own.
“In my opinion” doesn’t mean the speaker is educated or experienced in the matter surrounding their “opinion.” It’s best to educate yourself on or gain experience with a topic before making public declarations of belief.
When Not to Use “In My Opinion”
Don’t use “in my opinion” when presenting facts or group beliefs. It’s a statement of an individual’s views. Because of the possessive pronoun “my,” this phrase only works for an individual. You must use “our” instead of “my” to present a group’s ideals.
Remember, this phrase indicates a personal mindset. The speaker may be educated or experienced in the matter at hand, but this is not the phrase to use when presenting researched material.
Also, “my” is a singular possessive pronoun and only applies to the individual using the phrase. Therefore, you must use a different pronoun if you want to speak for a group of people, such as in the following example.
- In our opinion, children need boundaries when it comes to media consumption.
Thanks to the pronoun “our,” the audience now knows this is a statement of belief for a group and not the singular belief of the speaker.
Using “In My Opinion” in a Full Sentence
To form a full sentence that starts with “in my opinion,” a comma must come immediately after the phrase. “In my opinion” acts as an introductory phrase, and a comma must follow the introductory portion of a sentence (source). No comma is necessary when the phrase comes at the end of the sentence.
We’ve already seen examples of “in my opinion” at the beginning and end of a sentence, but let’s look at two more with an emphasis on the comma rule.
- In my opinion, tortilla chips are bland.
- Tortilla chips are bland, in my opinion.
Both of these are full sentences. The first example exemplifies using a comma after “in my opinion.”
It’s tempting to use a comma before “in my opinion” when this phrase ends a sentence, like the second example. You are right to do so, as it marks a slight hesitation or change in intonation as you speak. However, grammatically, a comma is unnecessary.
What Can You Use Instead of “In My Opinion”?
There are several good alternatives to “in my opinion.” “As far as I’m concerned,” “as I see it,” “if you ask me,” and “in my book” all hold similar meanings (source). Each of these expresses the same idea as “in my opinion,” which is the speaker presenting a personal belief.
These each follow the same grammar and comma rules as “in my opinion.” Take a look at these sentences to see these alternatives in action:
- In my opinion, dogs make great pets.
- Dogs make great pets, in my opinion.
- As far as I’m concerned, dogs make the best pets.
- Dogs make the best pets as far as I’m concerned.
- As I see it, dogs make the best pets.
- Dogs make the best pets, as I see it.
- If you ask me, dogs make the best pets.
- Dogs make the best pets if you ask me.
- In my book, dogs make the best pets.
- Dogs make the best pets in my book.
What Can You Use to Present Facts?
When declaring ideas based on fact, you don’t typically need an introductory phrase because the qualifying information surrounds the statement through other sentences. However, in situations where an initial statement is helpful, “research shows,” “the evidence indicates,” and other similar phrases fit well.
If a child development professional presents facts in their area of expertise, they most likely use sentences before and after the statement of fact to prove and explain the idea. These sentences provide context for the information, which means no introduction is needed within the sentence containing the statement.
For example, “Childhood trauma has long-term effects” is likely surrounded by contextual statements such as evidence and research to support the claim. Because the context is clear, there is no need to use an introductory phrase.
There are situations where it’s beneficial to use an introductory statement, even if it’s unnecessary. The following example contains the introductory phrase, “research shows.”
- Research shows that childhood trauma has long-term effects.
While not necessarily giving context or meaning to “childhood trauma has long-term effects,” it helps drive the point home that the statement is backed up by research and evidence.
Persuasive essays or speeches are great places to utilize this tool. It adds credibility to the argument without filling the space with fluff or meaningless words.
As with “in my opinion,” these phrases can appear before or after the statement. Let’s take a look at this with the following examples.
- Research shows that childhood trauma has long-term effects.
- Childhood trauma has long-term effects, research shows.
Notice how the sentence loses “that” and gains a comma when “research shows” finishes the sentence.
What Are Common Phrases?
Common phrases, also known as idioms, are strings of words you’ll often hear in American English. “In my opinion” is one of these. Some are literal and hold to the words’ meanings in the phrase, such as “in my opinion,” while others need further explanation to understand, such as “break a leg.”
Here are a few common phrases that don’t need much explanation:
- Thank you.
- Happy Birthday!
- Good morning.
Here are a few phrases with less apparent meanings and an explanation:
|Break a leg.||Good luck.|
|Call it a day.||To stop working on a task for the day.|
|Hang in there.||Don’t give up; persevere.|
To learn more about another common phrase, visit our other article, Is It Correct to Say “As Per Our Conversation”?
What Are Prepositional Phrases?
Prepositional phrases are sentence fragments that consist of a preposition and a noun or pronoun (source). They sometimes include modifiers to the object. For example, in the case of “in my opinion,” “in” is the preposition, “opinion” is the object, and “my” is the modifying possessive pronoun.
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
Here are a few common prepositional phrases:
- Before noon
- To the store
- From the office
Common phrases, prepositional phrases, and opinions are all important aspects of American English. The fact that English speakers can articulate themselves well is a testament to the English language.
In my opinion, if you set yourself to learning these aspects of grammar, your understanding and ability to express yourself will bloom.