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I am an ESL learning and I use the idiom "I lost my train of thought" quite often. Recently, I think that it is sort of redundant to use it several times when I talk to my friends.

I am curious that is there any similar idiom or phrase that mean like "I lost my train of thought"?

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closed as off topic by tchrist, MετάEd, J.R., Daniel, Cameron Dec 3 '12 at 21:42

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I lost my chain of thought. – Blessed Geek Dec 3 '12 at 16:38
Note: redundant does not mean repetitive. It means superfluous. – MετάEd Dec 3 '12 at 16:39
"Sorry, I forgot what I was saying." – J.R. Dec 3 '12 at 17:17
You can say "Where was I?" – Armen Ծիրունյան Dec 3 '12 at 19:50
up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you want something a native would actually use:

I'm sorry, I'm miles away.

My mind's gone blank.

I'm just not with it today.

Could you run that past me again?


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Super casual and a bit vulgar, "Brain fart!"

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  • I lost my chain of thought
  • I lost my chain of reasoning on the subject
  • My thought process is disrupted
  • My sequence of thought is disrupted
  • My sequence of reasoning has abended
  • My sequence of reasoning for the subject has faded
  • My reasoning encountered a null pointer exception on the subject
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Please provide reliable sources for your answer. I'm going to guess that the "abended" and "null pointer exception" suggestions, at least, are not idiomatic expressions. – MετάEd Dec 3 '12 at 16:47
"Please provide reliable sources for your answer" - if you asked that question to a bunch computer engineers, there would be chuckles. – Blessed Geek Nov 29 '15 at 6:25
1. OP was an ESL looking for alternatives to an expression in wide general use. Suggesting substitutes that would simply confuse most hearers was not helpful. "Abend" is not universally known in software, let alone in the larger world. 2. Good answers on this site give reputable sources. Check out the FAQ. – MετάEd Nov 29 '15 at 13:09
ABEND is a mainframe terminology. Mainframes are quite universal. Just read an IBM, Hitachi or Fujitsu manual for the reference. – Blessed Geek Apr 17 at 10:31

If you're talking to your friends, you can say, "I forgot where I was going with that," or, if they are casual like mine are, I would just ask, "What was I saying?"

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How about:

  • It slipped my mind.
  • Got lost in the trip down memory lane.
  • I've got a brain like a sieve these days.
  • Fell off the thought bandwagon.
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