'I don't know' seem to be the hardest words

'Well, that's an interesting question, but the person who can answer that is out to lunch'
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Our occasional series of English lessons, teaching English as a Fourth, Fifth or Sixth Language, has been greeted by such a warm welcome from the public that I have decided to provide another helping today.

Our occasional series of English lessons, teaching English as a Fourth, Fifth or Sixth Language, has been greeted by such a warm welcome from the public that I have decided to provide another helping today.

This time, we have come to the extremely useful series of phrases that disclaim any knowledge of a subject. You can, of course, just say "I don't know", but the English language is so rich in nuance and idiom that there are in fact hundreds of alternative phrases for the same sentiment.

So here are some 60 or so of the very best English phrases meaning "I don't know"...

Well...

Well, I'm not sure...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but...

As far as I know, which isn't very far...

To the best of my belief ....

I don't know.

I haven't a clue.

I haven't a notion.

Not the faintest.

Not the foggiest.

No idea.

You've got me there.

Search me.

You've stumped me.

It's beyond me.

It's beyond my ken.

Draw a blank there.

It's not my field.

Not my line of country.

Mind's gone blank.

It's on the tip of my tongue...

That's an interesting question.

Now you're asking!

Depends what you mean...

Pass.

Ask me another.

Nothing coming up on the old screen, I'm afraid.

The database is on the blink.

The old grey cells aren't working.

I'm tapping in "Find", but I'm not getting anything.

I'm not with you.

How do you mean?

What kind of question is that?

Come again.

Run that past me one more time.

I'll get back to you on that one.

Is there anything else I can help you with?

You have come through to the wrong department.

Sorry but, the person who can answer that is out to lunch.

We don't do that kind of question.

I think I know someone who can help you.

If only you'd asked us that last week...

We are not allowed to release that information.

That information is strictly classified.

I'd like to help you, but...

I don't even understand the question.

I don't know what you're talking about.

I'm stymied.

Can I phone a friend?

Can I phone my solicitor?

I refuse to answer that question without witnesses being present..

Under the new Bill of Human Rights, I do not think that you have the right to ask me that.

Mind your own business.

I refuse to be questioned in this manner.

What right have you got to interrogate me like this?

It's nothing to do with you.

How dare you!

Just who do you think you are?

You've got a nerve!

Take that!

And that!

That'll teach you a lesson you'll never forget!

Die, infidel!

Comments