off the top of my head

by | Last updated May 3, 2019 | Expressions | 3 comments

off the top of my head

by | Last updated May 3, 2019 | Expressions | 3 comments

This sentence contains the expression "off the top of my head". Do you know this idiom? How much of the sentence can you understand?

Listen as many times as you need to, then check your understanding and practise using the new language.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Language: C1 (Advanced)  //  Accent: Ireland

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

This sentence contains the expression "off the top of my head". Do you know this idiom? How much of the sentence can you understand?

 

Listen as many times as you need to, then check your understanding and practise using the new language.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

 

Language: C1 (Advanced)  //  Accent: Ireland

 

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

?
I can’t off the – can I to you ?
I can’t of anything off the of my head – can I back to you ?

About the sentence

off the top of my head

We say 'off the top of my head' when you need to think of something or remember something without any time to think, prepare or do research.

If you can answer someone's question from memory, but you want to warn them that you haven't thought carefully about the answer, you might introduce your answer with 'Off the top of my head'.

e.g. A: "Which street was that nice old antique shop on?" B: "Off the top of my head, I think it was George Street".

A useful way to use this phrase is to tell people that you can't answer a question from memory.

e.g. A: "Do you remember what time the film starts on Saturday?" B: "Not off the top of my head. You should look it up on the cinema website".


The phrase 'to get back to sb' means 'to call or reply to someone at a later time', or 'to answer a question at a later time'. e.g. "She's not available at the moment. If you leave your number, she'll get back to you tomorrow".

Discussion questions:

Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I'll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Can you remember a situation where you were asked a question that you couldn't answer off the top of your head?

  • Try to answer one of these questions from memory: What is the population of your town or city? How many books have you read so far this year? How many countries have you visited in your life?

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A situation where someone asked me a question that I couldn’t answer off the top of my head? MicroEnglish’s questions! hahaha I waste more time thinking in the answers than understanding the expressions and their uses!

Population of my city: about 700 000
Books I read this year: about 7
In my whole life I just visited one country: Paraguay, because it’s next to my city.

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