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Debate Language Phrases

Opening the debate:

[a nice opening is using a quote]

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to this debate.

Welcome from this side of the house…

The motion for debate today is: … defining the motion:

Now we as today’s proposition/opposition strongly believe that this is true/not true.

let us first define some important terms in this debate.

We believe that what is meant by … is… / that … are …

When we say … should … we mean that …


Presenting the team-line

We as today’s proposition/opposition have structured our case as follows:

I, as the first speaker, will be talking about …

Our second speaker, …, will elaborate on the fact that …

And our third speaker, …, will do the rebuttal.

Rebutting arguments, rebuilding your case

But before I come to my own arguments, let us first have a look at what … has said.

I will continue our case in a minute, but before that…

There are some things about the… speech that need to be addressed.

The first prop/opposition speaker has told us …; on the contrary …

He/She also said that …; but in fact..

He/She was claiming that …; but as my first speaker already told you, …

Introducing arguments

Let me come to my first/second/…/next argument: [concise label of argument]

My first/… argument is:

The first/… reason why we’re prop/opposing this motion is: explaining arguments:

[rather abstract explanation on how the argument should work] giving examples:

There are many examples for this/for …, for instance.

In fact, you can find many examples for this in real life. Just think of…

And there are similar cases, such as…, …

So in this simple example we can clearly see the effect of …

So as we have seen [argument label], and therefore [motion].

Now because of this …, we have to support this motion.

Summarising & ending your speech

So Ladies and Gentlemen, what have I told you today? Firstly …, Secondly..

[some nice closing words]

And for all of these reasons, the motion must stand/fall.

Making / rejecting / accepting / answering points of information

Point of information, Sir/Madam.

On that point.

Wouldn’t you have to agree …? 

Doesn’t what you’re saying contradict with …? 

What about the …? 

How would you explain, that … ?


Yes, please. / Go ahead.

I’m going to come to this very point in my second argument in a minute.

Giving summarising speeches

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome for the last time from today’s prop/opposition.

It is now my pleasure to summarize this debate,

Take a look at what both sides have said and see what the outcome of this debate actually is.

A first/second/… major clash was: …

Today’s prop/opposition told us …; we had to find …

And for all these reasons, I beg you to prop/oppose

Debate Phrases Sheet: a range of standard English phrases 

Suitable phrases to use when opening, building a case, summarising, rebuttals, rejecting, accepting and finishing statements.

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