„I don’t know” na kilka sposobów

28 stycznia 2014 | LoadingDodaj do biblioteki
I don’t understand is perceived by many learners as one of the most useful phrases in a foreign language. Similarly to I don’t know, it may help evade an awkward question though it is not very impressive, especially in an exam situation or during an important talk.

Instead of mumbling dunno, I have no idea or certainly a more sophisticated but still lacking any content I’m of no opinion on that matter, you can think of a cleverer way to at least try to excuse yourself.

It is true that stress can hugely influence one’s performance and impede speaking. For instance, you can have a frog in your throat which prevents you from making a good impression. And even if you’re not forced to clear your throat, you may still be lost for words due to the huge pressure and your mind may go blank. In such a case you may admit that you have a mental block which does not mean that you’ve run out of ideas but that you cannot “access” them at the moment. But don’t panic. According to many mental trainers and experts, sharing your doubts with the audience or cracking a joke at the beginning of a performance may actually help relieve the tension.

And if you didn’t black out under pressure but are still confronted with a difficult question, you can at least try to show off your cultural awareness by uttering a nice phrase. One of them is I’d rather take the fifth which has its origin in the American culture and refers to the 5th amendment to the constitution which grants an individual the right to remain silent. Another option is to go for the old proverb silence is golden, but certainly it will be more profitable to prepare thoroughly than to resort to such hackneyed phrases.

Smooth talkers have yet another alternative. If you’re lucky enough to have been born with the gift of the gab, you may try to improvise and say things off the top of your head should nothing spring to your mind at a given moment. Still, many people can detect such spontaneous responses and may not think much of you and your attitude.

It may also be the case that you cannot provide the answer for the sake of political correctness. The perfect phrases to be used then include I’m in no position to judge it or simply I’d like to withhold any judgments.


potocznie I don’t know
I’m of no opinion on that matter
nie mam zdania na ten temat
to have a frog in one’s throat
mieć chrypkę
to clear one’s throat
odchrząknąć, odkaszlnąć
I’m lost for words
brak mi słów
my mind went blank
miałem w głowie pustkę
a mental block
blokada psychiczna
I’ve run out of ideas
skończyły mi się pomysły
to relieve the tension
zmniejszyć napięcie
to crack a joke
opowiedzieć dowcip
to take the fifth
odmówić odpowiedzi (powołując się na piątą poprawkę)
silence is golden
milczenie jest złotem
oklepany, wyświechtany
smooth talker
wygadana osoba
to have the gift of the gab
mieć gadane
off the top of one’s head
z głowy, na poczekaniu
nothing springs to my mind
nic nie przychodzi mi do głowy
I’m in no position to judge it
nie mnie to osądzać
to withhold any judgments
powstrzymać się z oceną

„I don’t know” na kilka sposobów — ćwiczenia

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