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"?

  • I lost my chain of thought. Dec 3, 2012 at 16:38
  • 6
    Note: redundant does not mean repetitive. It means superfluous.
    – MetaEd
    Dec 3, 2012 at 16:39
  • "Sorry, I forgot what I was saying."
    – J.R.
    Dec 3, 2012 at 17:17
  • 2
    You can say "Where was I?" Dec 3, 2012 at 19:50

6 Answers 6


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?



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


My tongue covered up my eye-teeth and I couldn’t see what I was saying.

  • 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
  • 3
    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.
    – MetaEd
    Dec 3, 2012 at 16:47
  • "Please provide reliable sources for your answer" - if you asked that question to a bunch computer engineers, there would be chuckles. Nov 29, 2015 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.
    – MetaEd
    Nov 29, 2015 at 13:09
  • ABEND is a mainframe terminology. Mainframes are quite universal. Just read an IBM, Hitachi or Fujitsu manual for the reference. Apr 17, 2016 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?"


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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