I don't know

From Teflpedia

I don't know (often weakly "I dunno" or with a pronoun-drop "dunno", possibly even weaker[1]) is a lexical chunk that pragmatically expresses lack of knowledge, often used in response to a question.[2]

As a teacher, there's no shame to say "I don't know" to student questions. You might need time to process the question and think about the answer, particularly if you're a native English speaker whose implicit knowledge of language greatly exceeds your explicit knowledge. In that case "Let me think about it, I'll get back to you" is a good extension.

Perhaps the answer to the question is unknown or unknowable.


References[edit]

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miSP9YwhktQ
  2. The pragmatic functions of I don’t know AMY B.M. TSUI Published Online: 2009-11-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text.1.1991.11.4.607