Bulats language functions – les reactions

Language Functions refer to the different situations where we use language. Often, the meaning of expressions we use is not easy to understand from the words of the sentence. For example, a person could say ‘I see what you mean but …’ and the meaning of the sentence is ‘I understand what you are saying but my opinion is different.’

In BULATS, your knowledge of Language Functions will be tested. You will see examples of Language Functions in the Reading texts and you will hear people use them in the Listening audios. They are also important in the Writing Test and the Speaking Test. If you can understand the different nuances of meaning, you will improve your score.

This exercise will give you examples of typical expressions that are used to express reactions to something that has been said.


Expressing reaction to something 
Positive Reaction Negative reaction
That’s (so) good! That’s (so) sad!
I’m happy to hear about that. I’m sorry to hear about that.
That’s great! That’s bad.
That sounds good. That sounds bad.
I’m glad to hear that. I’m sorry to hear that.
How wonderful/fantastic. How awful/terrible.
That’s awesome! (informal) That’s awful.
What wonderful news! What a pity!
Great/Superb/Brilliant! Too bad!
Really? That’s amazing! Really? I find that hard to believe
Lucky you! How unlucky!
Well, congratulations! You have my commiserations.
That must be great! That must be awful
I’m really pleased for you! I do sympathise with you.


Agreeing and Disagreeing
Agreeing Disagreeing
I agree. I disagree/I don’t agree.
I think so too. I don’t think so.
That’s what I think too. That’s not what I think.
That’s true. That’s not true.
I’m sure you are right. I don’t think that is right.
I feel the same way. I don’t feel the same way.
That’s a good point. That’s a good point, but…
You’re right. You’re wrong. (Very direct)
That makes sense to me. That doesn’t really make sense (to me).
Absolutely!/Exactly!/Precisely! Never!/No way!
I couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t really agree.
I think that way too. I used to think that way.
I think everyone would agree with that. I don’t think everyone would agree with that.
That is logical. That’s just not logical.
You could be right. You could be right, you could be wrong.
You’ve persuaded me. You haven’t persuaded me.
I can’t argue with that. I can’t agree with that.
I don’t doubt it. I’m not so sure.
I wholeheartedly agree. I completely disagree.
I’ll go along with that. I can’t go along with that.
Quite right! No way!
That seems to make sense. That doesn’t seem to make sense.
I can see the sense in that. That makes no sense to me.
I’ll take your word on that. I’ll need to look that up.
I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. I think we have to agree to disagree.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. I can’t go along with that.
We seem to be on the same wavelength. You’ve got the wrong end of the stick.
I suppose you are right.  
I suppose so.  
You can say that again.  
You took the words right out of my mouth.  
You could be on to something there.  


Expressing doubt and reservation
Well …
Maybe …
Possibly …
Yes, but …
I can see your point, but …
I’m not so sure about that.
You may be right.
Perhaps, but don’t you think that …
I see what you mean but …
I agree to some extent, but …
I agree up to a point, but …
I don’t think I’d say that.
I tend to think…
I think that’s debatable.
I’d like to agree with you, but…
There’s a lot of truth in that, but…
I can see where you are coming from, but…
I wouldn’t put it that way myself.

To go further in your Bulats preparation, you can check out our Language Function summary, or choose one of the study sheets below.