Don't Stop Saying I DON'T KNOW In English!

57,334 views

2022-07-26・ Learn English with Bob the Canadian

Don't Stop Saying I DON'T KNOW In English!

57,334 views・2022-07-26

Learn English with Bob the Canadian


Double-click on the English subtitles below to play the video.

00:00
So I've been doing a little bit of research.
00:02
I was curious, and I wanted to know
00:04
what the most common response that people would give
00:08
if they didn't know the answer to a question.
00:11
So over the last few months I've kept track.
00:13
And the most common response is the English phrase,
00:16
I do not know.
00:18
More precisely, people usually say, "I don't know."
00:21
They use the contraction.
00:22
Or informally, they'll say, "I dunno."
00:25
That's the fastest way to say that you don't know something.
00:28
But I thought for variety, it would be interesting
00:30
for you if I taught you some alternatives.
00:33
So in this English lesson
00:34
I'll teach you eight more ways to say
00:37
I don't know in English.
00:39
(upbeat music)
00:45
If you look behind me here, you can see
00:46
that a few of the branches on this tree are broken.
00:50
And if you asked me this question,
00:51
"Bob, what happened to your tree?"
00:53
And if I didn't know the answer,
00:55
I could use one of the following four phrases.
00:58
I could say, "I don't have a clue."
01:00
I could say, "I haven't got a clue."
01:02
I could say, "I have no clue."
01:03
Or I could just say, "No clue."
01:05
I like the last one.
01:06
It's really short and sweet.
01:08
This isn't actually true though.
01:10
I do actually know what happened to this tree.
01:13
We had a windstorm the other night
01:14
and a few of the branches couldn't handle the speed
01:17
and force and strength of the wind, so they snapped.
01:20
Sometimes we order pizza, but we order too much,
01:23
so I put the leftovers in the fridge,
01:26
and then the next day I'll think to myself,
01:27
"I'll have a slice of pizza.
01:29
"That will be really, really yummy."
01:31
And I go to the fridge and the pizza's all gone,
01:33
so I say to my children, "Who ate the pizza?"
01:36
And they could respond with one of three phrases.
01:39
They could say, "I have no idea,"
01:41
or, "I've got no idea,"
01:43
or simply, "No idea."
01:45
Once again, the last one is very informal
01:47
but it's my favorite one.
01:48
No idea.
01:49
"Who ate the last slice of pizza?"
01:51
"No idea, Dad."
01:52
I'm sure you've been
01:53
on a long trip before with a friend or a relative,
01:56
and after driving for a while, they might ask you,
01:58
"Hey how much longer before we get there?"
02:01
And a very common response
02:03
if you don't know the answer would be to say,
02:05
"Your guess is as good as mine."
02:08
This is very common.
02:09
I say this a lot to my kids when we're driving.
02:11
"Dad, how much longer?"
02:12
And I'll say, "I don't know.
02:13
"Your guess is as good as mine."
02:15
Basically what this means is, I don't know,
02:18
so if you kind of guess how much longer it is,
02:21
that'll be just as good an answer as the one I would give,
02:23
because I don't know what to say.
02:25
So you could say, "Your guess is as good as mine."
02:28
Sometimes someone will ask you a question and you know
02:32
that you used to know the answer,
02:33
but you can't think of it in the moment.
02:36
Maybe you're in math class and the teacher says,
02:38
"What is pi to two decimal places?"
02:40
And you know you learned that a while ago,
02:43
but you just can't remember it.
02:44
A good response would be to say this.
02:46
"I'm drawing a blank."
02:48
When you say, "I'm drawing a blank,"
02:49
it indicates that you don't know the answer,
02:52
but it also indicates that you used to know the answer
02:55
or you just can't think of it in that current moment.
02:58
So, you could just just say, "I'm drawing a blank."
03:00
So I mentioned the phrase,
03:01
I have no idea, but there's two variations
03:04
on this phrase that you can use
03:05
if you want your English to sound a little cooler,
03:08
and those are the phrases,
03:10
I don't have the faintest idea,
03:11
or, I don't have the foggiest idea.
03:14
Now, the first one I've heard quite a bit recently.
03:16
The second one is a little more rare,
03:18
but they are both accurate English phrases that you can use
03:21
if you don't know something.
03:23
You could say, "I don't have the faintest idea,"
03:25
or, "I don't have the foggiest idea."
03:27
Sometimes someone will ask you a question
03:29
about something that might happen in the future.
03:33
They might ask a question like this.
03:34
"Do you think the president will win the next election?"
03:37
And a great way to say I don't know
03:39
in that situation is to use the little question,
03:42
"Who knows?"
03:43
"Do you think the president will win the next election?"
03:45
"Who knows?"
03:46
"Do you think when we go on the trip
03:48
"we'll need to bring a lot of money?"
03:49
"Who knows?"
03:51
So when someone asks a question
03:53
about the future and you don't know the answer,
03:56
this is a great way to respond, to simply say, "Who knows?"
03:59
Another way to say
04:00
I don't know is to simply say, "Beats me."
04:03
Maybe someone asks you this question.
04:04
"Do you think it will rain today?"
04:06
You could say, "Beats me."
04:07
It might rain.
04:08
It might not.
04:09
This is a little more informal.
04:11
It's not really slang and it's not really rude,
04:15
but it is a very quick and easy response
04:17
that you might use with someone you are familiar with,
04:20
like a friend or a brother or sister.
04:22
"So do you think it's going to rain today?"
04:25
"Beats me."
04:26
This last example actually is very rude,
04:28
and it's to use the question, "How should I know?"
04:32
Instead of saying, "I don't know."
04:34
Let's imagine a couple of children are talking
04:36
before Christmas and one of the kids says
04:39
"Do you think we'll get lots of presents?"
04:41
The other kid could answer very quickly
04:43
and rudely by saying, "How should I know?"
04:46
They could have just said, "I don't know."
04:48
They could have said, "I don't know.
04:49
"Maybe Mom and Dad bought us something cool.
04:51
"Maybe not."
04:52
But if they want to be rude
04:53
and a little bit harsh, they would use the question,
04:56
"How should I know?"
04:57
Kind of funny, eh?
04:58
They answer a question
05:00
with a question to indicate that they don't know.
05:02
Well, thank you so much
05:03
for watching this English lesson
05:05
about how to say I don't know in English
05:07
if you're tired of saying I don't know all the time.
05:10
Remember though, I don't know
05:12
or I dunno is the most common way to respond.
05:15
So if that's what you want to do, go ahead and do that.
05:17
There's nothing wrong with saying, "I don't know,"
05:19
or, "I dunno."
05:21
But if you want to add some variety,
05:22
use some of the phrases that you've learned in this lesson.
05:25
Thanks so much for watching.
05:26
Remember if you're new here, don't forget to click
05:28
that red subscribe button and gimme a thumbs up
05:31
if this video helped you learn a little bit more English,
05:33
and if you have the time
05:35
why don't you stick around and watch another English lesson.
05:38
(upbeat music)
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