Ways to say “I don’t know”

When we start learning English we don’t know many things and one of the things that we learn right away is to say “I don’t know”, right? However, this is a phrase that we constantly use, even in our native language, because we don’t know about everything, of course. It is impossible to be an expert on all subjects! 

As English learners, our goal is to improve our skills and to always be increasing our vocabulary. In order to sound more fluent, today we are going to learn different ways to say “I don’t know”. Yes, there are different ways to say that you don’t know about something.

Let’s think about a situation like this: Somebody asks you about an address: “Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to this address?” and then you say: 

  1. Sorry. I can’t tell ya. 
  2. I’m sorry but  I can’t help you there.
  3. I’m not sure, but I think…(it’s two blocks away)

A different situation now. One of your classmates asks: Hey, do you know where our teacher is? You may say:

  1. Beats me!
  2. No clue!
  3. I have no idea!
  4. How should I know? (But be careful, because this one may sound a little rude.

The third and last possible situation, if you hear a question like "Who do you think will win the award"?

  1. Who knows?
  2. I wish I knew.
  3. Your guess is as good as mine.
  4. Don’t ask me!

So, it looks like there are a lot of ways to say “I don’t know”, right? It is always good to have more vocabulary, so you won’t sound repetitive, you will sound more fluent, instead.

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