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Say we have an online discussion where I oppose an idea. After reading additional explanation, I realise that both sides have some merit. So while I do not expicitly agree, I want to let the other one know that he has a valid point, and I want to politely withdraw my opposition.

I´d use "fair enough" to express that specific attitude. But when translating it into german, I find additional meanings like "I forgive you" or "whatever, let´s just end this stupid discussion".

Are those so widely adopted usages that fair enough has a negative/offensive meaning?

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"Fair enough" is an even-handed acknowledgment that the person on the other side of an argument has made a valid point. It is a concession of sorts, and sometimes may mean that the person saying it wants to drop the discussion, but that is by no means a requirement.

Speaker 1: You said the dinosaurs were killed by an asteroid, but there is mounting evidence that volcanic activity in India may share the blame.
Speaker 2: Fair enough.

Here "fair enough" means Speaker 2 is merely conceding that what Speaker 1 is saying may be true. It would not express impatience or a desire to discontinue discussion unless Speaker 2 used additional dialogue to make those things clear.

Note: The expression itself is not at all negative and certainly not offensive. In fact, it is often used precisely to avoid giving offense.

  • 2
    Sounds fair enough to me. What do you think? – Elian Oct 5 '15 at 13:17

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