There are a few ways to express uncertainty in English. It’s a good idea to have a few different ways to express that feeling. Today we’ll talk about a few.
英语中有一些表示“不确定性”的表达。多储备一些相关词汇总是好的，除了“I’m not sure”，我今天教大家一些其他我们老外经常说的。
1. I don’t know… and I’m not sure…
These are obvious, but I mention them first because they are the ones most people say. Sometimes it is best to remember that simplest way is the best way to communic
ate an idea.
Where is the nearest bathroom?
(Sorry) I don’t know.
(Sorry) I‘m not sure.
2. I’d have to look into that
This is a kind of an odd sounding way to express uncertainty, but it is a good one. It’s not literal, of course, as no one needs to look into something to figure something out usually. Here “looking into something” means something more like “needing to find information” or, as is more common today, the need to “look it up on the internet.”
这个表达看起来有点奇怪，其实很地道。不要按照字面意思去理解这个表达，因为我们通常不需要系统地做调查才去搞懂一些事情。这里的Here “looking into something”指的是“需要找到更多的信息”，放在今天的语境下，指的是“需要在互联网上确认一下”。
Who scores the most points per game in the NBA?
Sorry, I’d have to look into that. I don’t know off the top of my head.
3. I’d have to think about that for a minute.
This phrase seems to imply that after thinking about something for a minute that you might know the answer to the question at hand, but that is not necessarily the case. Instead, it tends to mean that you “don’t know,” or that perhaps you really do need some time to think about an answer.
What’s the capitol of Australia?
Hmm, I’d have to think about that for a minute.
4. Who knows?
It’s kind of funny, but you can answer a question in the affirmative by asking a question. This question is different from typical interrogative kinds of questions because it is a rhetorical question. Instead of really posing the question, “Who knows?” the feeling is more like “nobody knows.”
How much longer will it take before the car is fixed?
5. Sorry, nothing comes to mind.
This is a pretty simple response and often it’s best used when someone asks you if you recall something.
Do you remember whether or not Brandon said that he would come to visit this weekend?
Sorry, nothing comes to mind.
There you go. Those are few different ways to express uncertainty. Keep it simple and try to use one of these phrases the next time you don’t know something. Thanks for joining me this week!
Until next time…
美化排版 | TingGold
封面图片 | 谢淼淼
审核校对 | 张津