English Idioms about Memory and Mind

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  • Post last modified:06/07/2021
  • Post category:English Idioms
  • Reading time:11 mins read

Here you will learn 12 English idioms about Memory and Mind. Lose the plot, to be miles away, a gut reaction meaning.

Scroll down to check your understanding and complete a short quiz.

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12 English Idioms about Memory and Mind

12 English Idioms related to Memory and Mind. English idioms in context at www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #tienganh #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas

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Everybody has memories. Hopefully, you have a lot of happy memories. Memories are very important for humans. And of course, there are many English idioms about memory and mind in our language. In this post, you are going to learn English idioms about memory or that are in some ways connected to memories. I wish you a lot of memories!

When you scroll down, you will also see an English video lesson about confusing English verbs REMIND vs REMEMBER

Intermediate to Advanced English Marathon

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

INSANITY: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

your memory is playing tricks on you

This means you recall or recollect something that actually happened differently in real life.


Michael told his son that he was at the Cup Final the day his team won the Football Cup for the first time. In fact, he watched it on television. His wife reminded him and said, “your memory is playing tricks on you”.

bear something in mind

Keep something in mind when the opportunity arises.


John got a phone call from his friend. His friend wanted to know if he knew of any good jobs that were available. His friend told him that he was prepared to do anything. John said he would bear that in mind if/when he heard of any jobs being available.

food for thought

Someone gives you some idea to think about  (food for the brain!!).


Mary was talking to her best friend about her relationship problems with her boyfriend. Her friend gave her some advice as to how she should approach these problems.

Mary was very grateful and thanked her friend. She told her, ‘You have given me plenty of food for thought. I will think over your recommendations and let you know what I decide to do.’

a gut reaction

Your gut is slang for your stomach or the area around your stomach.

A gut reaction is usually your first reaction when you hear about something or are asked your opinion about something. It’s what your body tells you.


Dmitriy asked Pavel for his opinion about his choice of a new car. Pavel could not decide between two cars. Dmitriy told him: ‘My gut reaction is to choose the car with the 4 seats. Your wife is expecting a baby and this would be more practical.’

12 English Idioms about Memory

10 English idioms about memory and mind. Memory like a sieve meaning. Improve speaking skills at www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #tienganh #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas

lose the plot

Where you go a little crazy and forget what you were really supposed to do and do something entirely different. A plot is like a plan or an idea.


Francois was supposed to make a presentation to the staff about the new budgets and targets for 2020. Instead, his presentation was about his ideas to quit his job and take up writing science fiction stories full time. He has lost the plot, he must be having a breakdown!

(to be) miles away

Daydreaming about someone or something and not concentrating on the real world.


Jack was sitting at the kitchen table looking into space. His wife called his name two or three times before he answered her. ‘Sorry, I was miles away.’

12 English Idioms about Memory

be in two minds

When you cannot make up your mind about a choice or a decision as to what you should do.


In the restaurant, the waiter handed Jennifer the menu. When he came back to take the order Jennifer said, ‘I am in two minds whether to have the meat or the fish. What would you recommend?’

memory like a sieve

When you can’t retain things in your memory and quickly forget about things.


Jane was not a particularly hard worker, she was vague and a poor timekeeper, and she had a memory like a sieve.

on the tip of your tongue

When you have a feeling that you know something but can’t remember (a name, a word, etc).


Oh, what’s it called? Don’t tell me … it’s on the tip of my tongue.

ring a bell

When something is familiar to you, you’ve heard or seen it before but you can’t remember fully.


His name rings a bell, but I can’t remember where I heard it before.

rack your brain

to think very hard when trying to remember something or think hard to solve a problem


I racked my brain trying to remember who this woman was, and then I remembered.

off the top of your head

something that is immediately available in your mind; you can say or remember it without thinking too much about it


– What is the capital of Botswana?

-I don’t know off the top of my head, but I could go and search it up.

Confusing English Verb Pairs - Remind vs Remember

 In this English video lesson, you will learn what the difference between REMIND and REMEMBER is. Very useful for intermediate English students to help you improve your speaking skills.

10 English Idioms about Memory and Mind - Quiz

More Information

For more information in English Expressions, English Phrasal Verbs and English Grammar Rules, check ou the following links:

Food Phrases and Idioms

English Idioms about Dreams

English Phrasal Verbs with OVER

Phrasal Verbs with WEAR

There’s plenty of learning material available on BBC Learning English.

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