Learn expressions you can use to talk about knowing and not knowing things apart from simply saying, ‘I know,’ or ‘I don’t know’ in a new English Express episode from English Plus Podcast Network.
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[00:00:00] Danny: You don’t have a lot of time, but you still want to learn a new way to express yourself in English every day. I get it, and that’s why I created English Express. This is your host, Danny, and this is English Express. Every day we’ll have a very short episode in which you will learn a new way to express yourself in English.
[00:00:23] Never stop learning even if you don’t have a lot of time for it. Listen to English Express.
[00:00:35] Welcome to a new English Express episode. In this episode, we will talk about knowing and not knowing idioms and expressions. You can find the transcript on my website, englishpluspodcast.com. You can find the links in the description of the episode. And now, without further ado, let’s talk about knowing and not knowing expressions and idioms.
[00:01:02] So when someone tells you about something, you can tell them, yes, I know about that, or I don’t know about it. Well, that’s perfectly fine. Of course, you can say, I know this. I don’t know that, but don’t you want to learn new ways You can talk about this and a variety of levels of knowing and not knowing. So then you need some expressions, some idioms, some common idioms people use every day to talk about knowing and not knowing things.
[00:01:28] Let me start with knowing. What about inside out? When you say someone knows something inside out, she knows the system inside out. What does that mean? That means she knows every detail of it. So when you know something inside out, that means you know every detail of something. That’s not only saying, I know it.
[00:01:48] No, I know it inside out. So that is an extra level of meaning that you need if you want to talk more about knowing and not knowing. But now again, let’s focus on knowing what about know your stuff. When we say, for example, when it comes to geography, he certainly knows his stuff. What does that mean? When we say someone knows his or her stuff?
[00:02:10] That means he or she has a very good knowledge of it. So that is another expression to know your stuff. What about if we wanna talk about something that sounds familiar, like you wanna say? I think I’ve heard it before. You can say, I know it, but you don’t exactly know it, do you? It sounds familiar. You think you’ve heard it before?
[00:02:29] What do you say?. You can see this thing has a familiar ring to it. For example, that book title has a familiar ring to it. I think I read it a long time ago. So something has a familiar ring to it, that means it sounds familiar. You think you’ve heard it before. And what about Ring a bell? I’ll give you an example.
[00:02:49] I’m not sure if I know her, but the name rings a bell. Well, we use this expression very commonly with names, and that is to say, I have a vague memory of someone with that name. But can’t remember exactly. So you know that you have heard this name before. You know this person, you’ve heard of this person.
[00:03:07] You have this vague memory, but you can’t remember exactly. Here. You can use the expression, ring a bell. The name rings a bell. So these are expressions about the things you know. What about the things you don’t know? Well, of course again, we can say, I don’t know, but there are a lot of expressions you can use to even convey better meanings.
[00:03:27] Let me start with, don’t have a clue. You can say, I don’t know, but if you say, I don’t have a clue how to get to her house, that means you don’t know at all. This is not just saying, I don’t know. No, I don’t know. It’s okay. It’s fine. It’s correct of course, but if you say, I don’t have a clue, that means you don’t know at all.
[00:03:47] And for the same meaning, you can also say, I don’t have the faintest idea where she lives, or I don’t have the foggiest idea what this switch is for. That means I really don’t know at all. Or I absolutely don’t know at all. So here, instead of just saying, I don’t know, you can say, I don’t have a clue, or I don’t have the faintest idea, or I don’t have the foggiest idea what the switch is for, where she lives, or how to get to her house.
[00:04:15] These are three expressions to talk about things you don’t know at all. Now what about if you can’t remember at all, you can say I can’t for the life of me remember her first name. When you say, I can’t, for the life of me remember her first name, that means I can’t remember at all. So that is another expression.
[00:04:34] What about, I’m a bit out of touch with computers these days. Does that mean you don’t know? Well, not exactly. That means you used to know about them, but don’t know the latest developments. So that is a very specific meaning of not knowing things. If you just say, I don’t know, that might not imply that you used to know, but you don’t know anymore or you don’t know the latest developments in this area.
[00:04:56] So here the expression to use is, I’m a bit out of touch or I’m out of touch. You don’t have to be a bit out of touch. Doesn’t matter, but I’m out of touch with computers these days. That means I used to know about them, but don’t know the latest developments. And what about ringing a bell, which we used for names?
[00:05:13] Talk about things we have a vague memory of. We can use it in negative. We can say, for example, I’m sorry, that name doesn’t ring any bells with me. So if you say, that name doesn’t ring any bells with me, that means I don’t think I’ve ever heard it before. It is unfamiliar. So that was everything I wanted to share with you in this English Express episode.
[00:05:33] Don’t forget to visit my website, englishpluspodcast.com, and check the great learning opportunities you can find there. Thank you very much for listening to this episode. This is your host, Danny. I will see you next time.
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