Hey there, this is Teacher Ola Podcast episode 85: Stop Saying ‘I know’. 6 Go-to Phrases

My name’s Ola and I’ve overcome a massive language blockade myself and now I help you do the same. I’ve been teaching English since 2012. If you want to eliminate your fear of speaking and boost your vocabulary, brush up your grammar, improve your pronunciation, this podcast is for you!  Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning!

Welcome back! I’m happy you’re tuning in because it’s going to be practical today. Go-to phrases to use instead of ‘I Know’. What’s wrong with I know? I don’t know… well, it might sound, if you overuse it, or when you use it improperly, you may sound like a know-it-all. See, if you keep saying ‘I know, I know’ it sounds like you are really smart and you don’t need anyone around you, right? You know everything. 

‘I understand’, the phrase ‘I understand’ is not the best solution. I mean, it can hit the mark, but a lot depends on the tone of your voice. So, in this episode, we are broadening your vocabulary. How to say, ‘I know’ without sounding like a smartass, a smarty pants, a big head. 

6 go-to phrases, highly colloquial, use them in everyday conversations, there are some slang expressions as well. Last, but not least you will practice. There will be 10 sentences for you to repeat out loud. Out loud!! Say them fearlessly and out loud. Let’s begin.

Number one:

I see what you mean – These are two expressions in fact. The first, ‘I see’ is used for showing that you are paying attention to what someone is saying and that you understand it. It shows you’re paying attention. ‘I know’ doesn’t convey that. ‘I know’ shows that you are smart. ‘I know I know’. ‘I see, I see’. See the difference? If you want to show genuine attention choose ‘I see’. But. Everything lies in the tone of your voice. If someone is explaining himself and you don’t really believe, you think it’s an excuse, you might say: ‘Oh, I see.’ Say it like this and it will clearly imply you’re not quite sure if that was true. Similarly, ‘I see what you mean’ can mean several things, depending on the tone of your voice. ‘I see what you mean but…’ and your point of view. ‘I see what you mean’, I understand. 

Number two:

Fair enough – This one is so useful! I hear it everywhere, I love it. ‘Fair enough’ . It is used to admit that something is reasonable or acceptable. I understand your explanation, I accept your explanation. It’s informal. What you’ve just said sounds fair. Like: ‘I’ll wash the dishes if you rake the garden’. And if you think it’s fair you’re gonna say: ‘fair enough.  YOu can also use it when you’ve run out of arguments. You have nothing more to add, clearly you’ve lost the battle.  You accept you lost the argument. ‘Ok, fair enough’.

Number three:

I get it, I get ya – Please focus on pronunciation here. I get it. I get it. I get ya, I get ya. I get you, I get you. I think it’s less common than I get ya.  You are not likely to hear: I get you, it just doesn’t feel right. I get it means, I know because you told me. Now I know. ‘I get you, I get ya. I understand you’. 

Number four:

Gotcha – this is the most informal way of saying ‘I know’, it’s slang. Gotcha. Cool one! Use it, it’s fun. The pronunciation first, it’s /ˈɡɒtʃə/, /ˈɡɒtʃə/. Yes, it’s a conversational phrase, it’s not correct ok, but still, often used. Ok, so when to use it? When you get some instructions, like for example: ‘let’s meet at the entrance’ and you might say: ‘at the entrance, gotcha’. I understand, I accept what you’ve said.

Number five:

I get the picture – to get the picture means to understand a situation, especially one that somebody is describing to you. I have the overall vision of what you mean. I understand the situation. I don’t need further explanation, I get the picture. 

Number six:

I catch your drift – To understand the meaning, insinuation, or implication of what one is saying. To understand what someone is suggesting. If you catch my drift, if you follow me. It’s often used with gossipy topics if you know what I mean, if you catch my drift. The part “my drift” means there is a chain of thoughts or an inside meaning that is not clearly defined. I know I haven’t made myself clear so I just wanna make sure you’re not confused. The expression is used whenever you think the listener may be confused or not follow your main idea.

This is it, 6 go-to phrases whenever you want to say ‘I know’. Ok, time to practice. Listen and repeat the sentences. You’ll hear each sentence twice.

I won’t tell you his name, but he’s someone you know very well, if you catch my drift.

I see what you mean, but I’d rather go somewhere else.

I realize that sounds completely revolting, but I think you get the picture.

This is a fair enough definition

At 10? Ok, I’ll be there at 10, gotcha.

You don’t wanna see me again, I get it.

A lot depends on the tone of your voice.

Say it like this and it will clearly imply you’re not quite sure if that was true

What you’ve just said sounds fair.

 I understand your explanation.

Awesome! Here you have it! 6 red idioms. Now it’s time for homework. Download the worksheet. Practice translating Polish sentences into English. The worksheet is available at teacherola.com/85. While you’re there scroll it all the way down and leave a comment. Tell me which phrase you remember best? 

You can always contact me if you have any questions or suggestions at contact@teacherola.com. You’re free to DM me on Instagram as well.

My dear friend, one more time, let’s hear all six phrases, shall we?

I see 

I see what you mean

Fair enough.

I get it. I get ya.


I get the picture.

I catch your drift.

Share this episode with someone you think might need it. I would love this podcast to reach people who feel blocked when it comes to speaking English. 

Next week we’re going to explain song lyrics. Katy Perry! See you next Wednesday. Till then have a great, fearless week. Remember to say it out loud! Happy learning bye-bye!