When it comes to learning any language things get quite hard when you have to learn the small and subtle ways of saying the same thing. Saying you know something can be simple “I know the day is Wednesday” but what if you know something but you are not completely sure it is right? How do you tell someone you know it but you might be wrong? How do you say I’m not sure?
This is a very useful term. It will allow you to say what you know but clearly showing that you understand it may not be correct. It suggests that from the information that you have, or what you have been told it is correct.
Example “As far as I know we are meeting at the pub”
This phrase works in the same way as “as far as I know” but it is a lot more formal. This would work very well in a work situation where you wanted to say the same thing but with the right amount of respect and politeness.
Example “To the best of my knowledge we are meeting at the pub”
This is a different type of phrase. This would be used if you knew something and wanted to politely tell someone else they may be wrong. It can be a hard one to use politely so make sure you are comfortable with how to use it before trying it at work or with important people. It is a way of telling the person or people what you know, so they can see if they agree.
Example “Correct me if I am wrong but I thought we were meeting at the pub”
This is a very useful phrase. It allows you to say what you think is correct but saying it this way shows you are very happy for someone else to have a different answer. It is perfect if you really do not know if you are correct or not.
Example: “I thought we were meeting in the pub?”
These kind of phrases are good to try on your English speaking friends first, so they can let you know if you are using them in the right way.
In a business or professional situation, it is important to use the right terms to say what you mean while still respecting the workplace and people you work with.
These are all good ways to say I am not sure professionally or in any kind of formal setting. Using slang and poor English like “I dunno, but…” will not give a good impression.
If you would like to learn business English we have a number of courses from interview help to business vocabulary.
Writing an e mail can be different to speaking to someone but when you want to say you are not sure about something the same language applies. It is still polite on work or friend e mails to say things like “I am not sure but…” or “I may be wrong but…”
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