English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Memory - Remembering
|bear in mind||
If a person asks you to
bear something in mind, they are
asking you to remember it because it is
You must bear in mind that the cost of living is higher in New York.
|brain/memory like a sieve||Someone who has a
brain like a sieve has a very bad
memory and forgets things easily.
Oh, I forgot to buy the bread - I've got a brain like a sieve these days!
|have down pat||If you memorise or practise something
until you know it perfectly or have it
exactly right, you
have it down pat.
I rehearsed my presentation until I had it down pat.
|have on the brain||If you have
something on the brain, you think or
talk abut it all constantly.
Stop talking about golf. You've got golf on the brain!
|in one ear and out the other||To say that information goes in one
ear and comes out the other means that
it is immediately forgotten or ignored.
I keep telling him about the risks but it goes in one ear and out the other. He never listens!
|jog someone's memory||When you help someone to remember
something they have forgotten, you jog
You don't remember who was with us that day? Here's a photograph to jog your memory.
|lose your train of thought||If you forget what you were saying, for
example after a disturbance or interruption,
you lose your train of thought.
Now where was I? I'm afraid I've lost my train of thought.
|if memory serves well||If your memory
serves you well, you remember correctly
or you have not forgotten any details.
You're Stella's daughter, if my memory serves me well.
|trip down memory lane||If you take a
trip (stroll or walk)
down memory lane, you remember
pleasant things that happened in the past.
Every Christmas is a trip down memory for the family when our parents take out the photograph albums.
|in your mind's eye||If you can visualise something, or see
an image of it in your mind, you see it
in your mind's eye.
I can see the village in my mind's eye but I can't remember the name.
|rake over the ashes||When people rake over the ashes,
they discuss an unpleasant event which took
place in the past.
My grandfather's business went bankrupt years go, but he still rakes over the ashes from time to time.
|refresh someone's memory||If you refresh someone's memory,
you remind them of facts they seem to have
Let me refresh your memory - you've already missed three classes this term.
|ring a bell||If something rings a bell, it
sounds familiar, but you don't remember the
John Bentley? The name rings a bell but I don't remember him.
|senior moment||A momentary lapse of memory, especially
in older people, or an absent-minded action
such as putting the cereals in the
refrigerator, is humorously referred to as
having a senior moment.
I found the phone in the cupboard. I must have had a senior moment!
|it slipped my mind||If something has
slipped your mind, you have
forgotten about it.
Oh dear! It slipped my mind that the shops were closed today!
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