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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 ignorance, 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 | edit source]

  2. The pragmatic functions of I don’t know AMY B.M. TSUI Published Online: 2009-11-12 | DOI: