According to me vs. In my opinion

The phrase According to me is not a natural English expression and it is not the same as In my opinion.

How to Use 'According to'

According to + [person / source of information]

  • According to Sir Isaac Newton, there are three laws of motion.
  • According to the dictionary, the term 'VIP' means Very Important Person.

According to is used to provide the source of an idea or information. This source should not be you.

If this source is a person, he or she is often an expert (e.g. According to Professor Barton, 'according to me' is a strange expression.) Therefore, when you say, "According to me", you are implying that you are an expert on the topic. (You are probably not an expert in most cases, and therefore, the expression shouldn't be used.) Instead, use In my opinion, ..

According to your doctor

According to my doctor, I should drink lots of water.

According to does not always refer to an idea from an expert, however. It can also mean that an idea was stated by someone else. Here is another example:

A: According to my roommate, recycling is a waste of time.

B: That's what he thinks? He sounds lazy. 

Here, the phrase According to my roommate is used to show that the idea is not your own. You are not saying that your roommate is an expert (though he may think he is). In this way, it creates some distance between the speaker (you) and the idea.

As Stated By

In this sense, according to is similar to the phrase as stated by. Just like it would be strange to say "As stated by me," it is strange to say "According to me". If you did so, you would be citing yourself, which is unusual.

In summaryaccording to [source] is often used with a credible source, such as an expert, though it can also be used simply to introduce an idea that is not your own.

So is 'According to me' wrong?

No, according to me is not wrong. It is unusual, however. It would be better to use In my opinion (or a similar expression) when giving your own opinion. Note that I speak North American English. Still, based on my research, these rules seem to also apply to British English. In my experience, this is a common error made by Indian students.

I hope that you have found this useful. Please leave your comments and questions below.

- Matthew Barton (copyright) / Creator of

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8 comments on “According to me vs. In my opinion

  1. Muhammad Abdullah kiani (Posted on 12-9-2019 at 14:39) Reply

    Awsome sir

  2. AbdullRahman khaled (Posted on 3-31-2020 at 15:28) Reply

    Very good sir

  3. Anon (Posted on 5-26-2020 at 14:38) Reply

    I also speak and teach North American English. I’ve never come across the notion that “According to me” is not natural. Maybe in the past, yes. But as languages develop and evolve, so do their definition of natural and not natural.

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 5-26-2020 at 14:59) Reply

      I agree with your latter statement. Perhaps in 10 years I will have to delete this page because it will no longer seem unnatural to me and many others (this error is discussed at length on several pages such as Thanks for the comment!

      1. Jessica aleng (Posted on 7-26-2020 at 23:01) Reply

        According to me

  4. Bob (Posted on 12-18-2020 at 10:19) Reply

    Very good information thank you

  5. vance (Posted on 2-21-2021 at 02:05) Reply

    Thanks a lot for the details.

  6. Anonymous (Posted on 7-14-2021 at 02:19) Reply

    Wow! I know many usual English errors! Had never heard of this one! Interesting..

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