In this free English lesson I talk about two interesting English idioms: “on the tip of my tongue” and “off the top of my head.”

Hi, I’m English Teacher Fred; I’ve got two idioms to talk about today.

These are idioms about thinking, and when you’re remembering and having ideas, okay?

The first one is “on the tip of my tongue.”

My tongue- eh- and the tip: T I P. It’s the very end. Like the tip of my finger would be the very end of my finger. The tip of my tongue- the very end.

The top of a mountain would be the tip, the very highest part on a mountain.

This idiom, on the tip of my tongue, this is when you’re trying to remember something.

So, somebody says, for example, “What’s that guy’s name? Do you know? Do you know his name?”

And you know his name but you can’t remember. So you’re trying to remember, trying to remember… It’s on the tip of my tongue! I’m sure I know! I can’t quite remember… it’s on the tip of my tongue!

It means I’m just about to remember. I’m sure I know but I can’t remember. Here it comes- it’s… It’s on the tip of my tongue… It’s Tom Cruise! That’s the famous actor, Tom Cruise. Oh, okay. It was right on the tip of my tongue.

I know the answer but I can’t quite remember.

Here’s another one, number two. It’s “off the top of my head.” Right off the top of my head.

This is when… usually it’s used when you don’t have an idea immediately.

Like somebody asks you a question. For example, somebody comes to visit your city and they ask you, “Do you know, where’s a good Chinese restaurant in this city?”

And you don’t really know, so you say, “Right off the top of my head, maybe I have an idea but I’m not really sure, right off the top of my head I can’t think of anything.” So I don’t have an idea.

Right off the top of my head I don’t know. So, maybe we can look in the telephone book, look on the Internet We can find something. But right off the top of my head, I don’t know.

So these are two idioms about thinking, can remember, can’t remember. Know, don’t know.

It’s on the tip of my tongue! I’m sure I know; just wait one second and I will remember- it’s right on the tip of my tongue. Now I remember- okay.

And then the other one: off the top of my head. I’m not sure. Off the top of my head I don’t have an idea.

Okay? Thanks a lot! Stop by EnglishTeacherFred.com! Have a good day, bye bye.

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