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What to do when you forget a word?!?!

なんて言ったっけ?!

You forgot a certain word.
And the other person can’t speak Japanese.
the other person = 相手
Situation A
You panic.
You skip the topic.
It's awkward.
You feel bad and you learn nothing.
Situation B
You explain that word in a simple way in English.
Now the other person knows what you are talking about.
They tell you the word.
You learn.
Which situation is better? 
Situation B, of course! 😛

So, here's a pattern that you can use for situation B.

Step 1 

Say that you knew the word but forgot it. 

What was that word again? 
何て言ったっけ?

Step 2 

Explain that word in simple English.

その_____もの/こと/状態/人

The thing that __________ 
The feeling that _______ 
The person who _________
The place where _________ 
The situation where _________

Now, let's practice with some situations! 

Practice Examples

Time to practice with life situations!  Here's how to do it: 

  1. Look at the situation. 
  2.  Think about what you would say using the pattern above.
  3. Click on the "+" button to reveal the answer. 
  4. Learn 😄

Of course this is not the only way to apologize. There are many more ways to do so.  This is just a simple guide to get you started!

Situation 1 
Friend: What is your wife working as?
You: My wife is a … (you forgot the word) 

何て言ったっけ?

What's that word again? 
The person who designs houses?

答え:Architect 

Situation 2 
You: For my birthday, my friend gave me a ... (forgets the word)

何て言ったっけ?

What's that word again? 
The thing that plays music when we turn it?

答:musical box

Situation 3 
You: Yesterday I went to a ... (forgets the word)

何て言ったっけ?

What's that word again? 
The place that we go to cut hair ?

答:hair salon

Situation 4 
You: Last week me and my husband had a ... (forgets the word)

何て言ったっけ?

What's that word again? 
The situation where both of us are angry at each other?

答:hair salon

Situation 5 
You: When I was in university, I felt so... (forgets the word) 

何て言ったっけ?

What's that word again? 
The feeling where I am sad because I have no friends?

答 : lonely 

Situation 6 
You: I went to watch an ... (forgets the word) 

何て言ったっけ?

What's that word again? 
The thing where many people play musical instruments on stage

答 : orchestra 

Situation 7 
You: I need to bring ... (forgets the word) 

何て言ったっけ?

What's that word again? 
The thing that keeps water warm?

答 : thermos

Situation 8 
You: After the yoga class, I felt very ... (forgets the word) 

何て言ったっけ?

What's that word again? 
The feeling where you feel calm and without worries

答 : peaceful

Situation 9 
You: My favorite place is UK is their ... (forgets the word) 

何て言ったっけ?

What's that word again? 
The place where you go to watch football matches

答 : football stadium

Situation 10
You: Ten years ago, my father was a ... (forgets the word) 

何て言ったっけ?

What's that word again? 
The person who plants vegetables and fruits

答 : farmer

Even natives forget certain words sometimes. It's totally normal. 
So be brave and use English to learn more English! 

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