I'm not sure. / Let me think about it.

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lune97

Senior Member
Korean
Hello, everyone...

Do the following sentences have same meaning?

1) I'm not sure.

2) Let me think about it.

Wait for your reply.

Thanks.
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Their meanings are similar, but not the same.

    "Let me think about it" means that I don't know now, but I might know later (after I think): "Do you want to go to the party this Saturday evening?" "Let me think about it." In this case, you could also say "I'm not sure," but that does not mean you will think about it. Maybe you will wait until Saturday afternoon and go to the party only if nobody has invited you to a more interesting activity.

    "I'm not sure" does not mean that I might know later. "Do you have a tomato in your kitchen?" "I'm not sure." In this case, you cannot say "Let me think about it." Thinking will not help. The only way to find out is to go to your kitchen and look for a tomato.
     

    lune97

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thanks Egmont,
    Here is the context.

    A : Why don't you join the piano contest?
    B : I'm not sure.
    A: You will do fine.
    B : Thanks.

    Can we replace "I'm not sure." with "Let me think about it." ???? They both mean that "I haven't decided yet." based on the context.

    Thanks in advance.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I don't think "Let me think about it" will work. Why would B want to think about this? Unless B is going through psychoanalysis and needs to understand his or her motivations better, it's not something that one would think about.
     

    Matomic

    Member
    American English
    Either work. "Let me think about it" confers that idea that B will "think" and give a response to A.

    "I'm not sure" confers the idea of ambiguity, but B is not guaranteeing a response to A.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    The two answers may convey very similar information in a given situation, but they're not identical in meaning. In this situation:

    "I'm not sure." = I'm uncertain of my decision. (I may have made a tentative decision.)
    "Let me think about it." = I need to consider the idea (or consider it further).

    I disagree with Egmont (post #4); certainly someone may want to devote some thought to whether or not to enter a competition. (Context: post #3.)
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    I wonder if "Let me think" is an equvilant to "Let me think about it".

    Thanks a lot

    -Where does she come from?
    -Well, let me think.....

    Context: A and B are talking to me. A is my friend, so is B. But A and B are newly-met friends.
     
    Last edited:

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    A : Why don't you join the piano contest?
    B : I'm not sure.
    A: You will do fine.
    B : Thanks.

    Can we replace "I'm not sure." with "Let me think about it." ???? They both mean that "I haven't decided yet." based on the context.

    In this context I would suggest that "I'm not sure" means something like "I can't really explain" They are showing their reticence to enter the competition because they don't have adequate confidence in themselves / their ability.
    A. recognises this fact and tries to encourage/reassure B. by saying "You'll do fine"

    To me, it is only after A has encouraged him/her that B. might say "I'll think about it"
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Hi, I've re-read this thread again and now I have a simple question. First of all, thanks a lot for everyone's help here.

    My question:

    I guess in almost every circumstance, I can say something like "I'm not sure; let me think about it", right? (By the way, is the punctuation fine in that bold expression?)

    Thanks a lot

    More context:

    I mean these two expressions could work as one, could be put together to mean "I'm not yet sure but the answer might come later".
     
    Last edited by a moderator:
    I don't know what you mean, "in every circumstance." But yes, one in which you're not sure. The use of semicolons is declining. Period and new sentence would be the most common now.

    Yes, the sentences could fit together.


    Hi, I've re-read this thread again and now I have a simple question. First of all, thanks a lot for everyone's help here.

    My question:

    I guess in almost every circumstance, I can say something like "I'm not sure; let me think about it", right? (By the way, is the punctuation fine in that bold expression?)

    Thanks a lot

    More context:

    I mean these two expressions could work as one, could be put together to mean "I'm not yet sure but the answer might come later".
     
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