Learning a new language like Spanish can be a thrilling adventure, but it often comes with moments of uncertainty where you might find yourself lost in translation. It’s crucial to know how to express this uncertainty. This article will guide you through various ways to say “I don’t know” in Spanish, including conjugations, examples, and some useful slang.

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When embarking on the journey of learning Spanish, you’ll inevitably encounter situations where you’re unsure or simply don’t understand what’s being said. It’s a normal part of the learning process and nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, admitting that you don’t know something is often a vital step in learning. This article will equip you with various phrases and expressions to convey your uncertainty in Spanish, helping you navigate through these learning moments with ease.

“I Don’t Know” in Spanish

First, let’s understand the basics. The verb “to know” in Spanish is “saber,” an irregular verb. Here’s a quick guide to its conjugation:

Yo (I)
Tú (You)sabes
Él/Ella (He/She)sabe
Nosotros (We)sabemos
Vosotros (You all)sabéis
Ellos/Ellas (They)saben

Common Phrases for “I Don’t Know” in Spanish

Here are some common phrases to express “I don’t know” in Spanish, complete with their pronunciation:

I don’t know.No sé.no seh
I don’t know that.No lo sé.no loh seh
I don’t know yet.Aún no lo sé.ah-oohn no loh seh
I don’t know English.No sé hablar inglés.no seh ah-blahr een-glehs

Expressing Lack of Understanding

Sometimes, it’s not about not knowing but not understanding. Here’s how you can express this:

I don’t understand.No entiendo.no ehn-tee-ehn-doe
I don’t understand you.No te entiendo.no teh ehn-tee-ehn-doe
I didn’t understand you.No te entendí.no teh ehn-tehn-dee
Sorry, I don’t understand.Perdón, no entiendo.pear-dohn, no ehn-tee-ehn-doe

Indicating Uncertainty in Spanish

Sometimes you might be unsure rather than completely in the dark. Here’s how to express that:

I’m not sure.No estoy seguro.no ehs-toy seh-goo-roh
It’s not clear to me.No me queda claro.no meh keh-dah clah-ro

Spanish Slang for “I Don’t Know”

Finally, let’s dive into some informal ways of expressing ignorance or uncertainty:

Who knows.Quién sabe.key-ehn sah-beh
No idea.Ni idea.nee e-deh-ah
I wouldn’t know what to tell you.No sabría decirte.no sah-bree-ah deh-seer-teh

By mastering these phrases and expressions, you’ll be able to navigate through your Spanish learning journey with greater confidence and ease. Remember, it’s okay not to know everything – it’s all part of the learning process.


What is the proper way to say “I don’t know” in Spanish?

The proper way to say “I don’t know” in Spanish is “No sé.”

How do you tell someone you don’t know Spanish?

To tell someone you don’t know Spanish, you can say “No hablo español” which means “I do not speak Spanish.”

What is the difference between “no lo sé” and “no sé”?

“No sé” simply means “I don’t know.” It’s a general statement of not knowing. “No lo sé” translates to “I don’t know it” and is used when referring to a specific thing or subject that you don’t know about.

How do you say “I don’t know what to do now” in Spanish?

To say “I don’t know what to do now” in Spanish, you would say “No sé qué hacer ahora.”

What does “no comprende” mean?

“No comprende” means “he/she/it does not understand” or “you (formal) do not understand.” It’s used to indicate a lack of understanding in a third person or formal context.

What does “¿Cómo que no sabes?” mean?

“¿Cómo que no sabes?” can be translated as “What do you mean you don’t know?” It’s often used to express surprise or disbelief that someone does not know something.

Why can I only understand Spanish but not speak it?

This is a common experience for language learners. Understanding a language without being able to speak it fluently often happens because passive skills (like listening and reading) develop faster than active skills (speaking and writing). With practice and immersion, speaking skills can improve over time.

Is it possible to speak Spanish without an accent?

Everyone has an accent when they speak, and this includes native speakers of any language. For non-native speakers, it’s possible to reduce a foreign accent and speak more like a native through extensive practice and immersion. However, maintaining some level of an accent is common and perfectly acceptable.


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