Key word: argument
1 Verb + argument (reasons behind ideas)
Use the correct form of these verbs:
accept follow hear put forward support
- His lecture just didn’t seem to make any sense. I couldn’t ___________ his argument at all. Could you?
- I’ve spent the last week doing my research. Now I’ve got lots of facts and figures to ___________ my argument.
- In his speech, the Chancellor ___________ a very persuasive argument for raising taxes.
- I don’t ___________ the argument that adults should always be obeyed just because they are adults!
- Now that we have___________ all the arguments for and against the proposal, I think we should vote on it.
2 Good and bad arguments
First underline the adjectives which collocate with argument in the sentences below. Then decide which adjectives describe a good argument and which describe a poor one.
- The animal rights people have a compelling argument for banning fox hunting. I’m certainly persuaded.
- The unemployment issue is a pretty feeble argument against asylum seekers, I’m afraid.
- The most telling argument for wearing seat belts is the number of lives they save each year.
- There are strong arguments for and against euthanasia.
- I find your argument a bit woolly. I’m not really convinced by it.
3 Verb + argument (meaning disagreement)
Use the correct form of these verbs:
get into listen to lose settle start
- Jane’s very argumentative, so if she tries to ___________ an argument with you, it’s best to just ignore her and walk away.
- We ___________ a terrible argument over who was responsible for the accident and I’m afraid we’re not on speaking terms any more.
- I’m fed up arguing about money day after day. Let’s ___________ this argument once and for all. > I agree, let’s put an end to it right now.
- Nobody likes to___________ an argument. We all want to win. But you know the old saying – win the argument and lose a friend!
- I think it’s important to___________ both sides of an argument before deciding what you think yourself.
4 Common adjective collocations
Complete the sentences below with the following:
endless friendly heated
- We had a relaxed and ___________ argument about whether people should be allowed to smoke at meetings or not. Nobody got upset.
- A decision was finally made after quite a bit of ___________ argument had taken place. A number of people were upset by the angry words which were exchanged.
- At work I had a ___________ argument with my boss, but it has cleared the air. There’s no longer any bad feeling between us now.
- I had an absolutely ___________ argument with my parents over money. It was stupid and served no purpose at all.
- They have ___________ arguments. They’re always at each other’s throats. I’m surprised they’re still talking.
If you have time, go back and underline all the important collocations in all the exercises in this unit.
1. In 3-2 you can ‘get into an argument’ or ‘get involved in an argument’.
For example: Sorry I’m late. I got involved in an argument with the taxi driver over politics!
2. Do you know the following idiom?
People who always try to see both sides of an argument often end up sitting on the fence.
3. If your argument is not quite right, we say ‘there’s a flaw in your argument’.
4. To appear reasonable when discussing, you can say either of the following:
I can see your argument.
I can see where you’re coming from.
- follow 2. support 3. put forward 4. accept 5. heard
1 compelling (good) 2. feeble (poor) 3. telling (good)
4 strong (good) 5. woolly (poor)
- start 2. got into 3. settle 4. lose 5. listen to
- friendly 2. heated 3. massive 4. pointless 5. endless
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