Could I say

"I wouldn't agree with you"

instead of saying

"I don't agree with you"?

If I could, in which situation should I use the construction "I wouldn't agree with you"?

I'm wondering if the "I wouldn't agree with you" version is more polite than 'I don't agree with you'.

Moreover, I often come across that people use it without an "if clause" or an "if clause" is removed. Why?

  • I don't understand what you mean about the if clause. Can you give an example of a sentence with and without an if clause?
    – JavaLatte
    Jun 27, 2016 at 0:29
  • example :with if clause -I wouldn't agree with you if you said America is the strongest country without if clause :I wouldn't agree with you.......
    – yubraj
    Jun 27, 2016 at 5:00

3 Answers 3


would has lots of meanings. The two that are relevant to this question are:

possibility: used with if in conditional sentences (= sentences that refer to what happens if something else happens)

opinion: used to express an opinion in a polite way without being forceful

The possibility option is appropriate when there is an if clause. It tends to be used about situations that are unlikely or impossible.

I would agree with you if it came to a vote - unlikely

If I were twenty years old again, I would agree with you - impossible

The polite opinion is appropriate if there is no if clause:

I would agree with you

or even more tentatively:

I would be inclined to agree with you.

Compare that with don't, where it is a simple statement of fact, with no attempt to be polite.

I don't agree with you

  • Do you think" I would agree with you" also implies -indirect way ,polite way and distancing ourselves to agree with someone?
    – yubraj
    Jun 27, 2016 at 7:20
  • I don't think there is anything indirect or distant about using would. It's simply gentle and polite.
    – JavaLatte
    Jun 27, 2016 at 8:16

I don't agree with you.

I wouldn't agree with you.

These sentences are not interchangeable.

The former conveys your reaction at the time of speaking in the present.

The latter refers to the future fron the point of view of the past; would is the past of will.

I told you yesterday that I woukd not agree with you.

The sentence can also convey your reaction in the present, but that will be when you use would in a situation that you know doesn't exist.,

If you were not right, I wouldn't agree with you.

Sometimes, you use wouldn't to convey your unwillingness or refusal to do something.

You advised me to spend my vacations in London, but I am sorry I wouldn't agree with you.


How the statement being agreed or not agreed to is worded depends on the use of wouldn't or don't.

You would use "I wouldn't agree" when the statement being not agreed to contains "would you agree" or "wouldn't you agree".


Person A: "That movie was great. Would you agree?"

Person B: "I wouldn't agree"

Person A: "Would you agree that bob is a good friend?"

Person B: "I wouldn't agree"

You would use "I don't agree" when the statement being not agreed to contains "do you agree" or "do you agree".


Person A: "That game was fun. Do you agree?"

Person B: "I don't agree"

Person A: "Do you agree I should get these shoes?"

Person B: "I don't agree"

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