Idiom 'A Penny for Your Thoughts' - Idioms and Phrases Lesson

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In this lesson you will learn how to use the idiom ‘a penny for your thoughts’.


Tony: “A penny for your thoughts” is an idiom used to ask what somebody is thinking about.

Brenda: However it does not mean that I will give him a real penny for telling me his thoughts, right?

Tony: This is an idiom Brenda, idioms never mean what they say. It means that you are actually interested in his ideas or you are willing to listen to him. A penny for your thoughts, Brenda!

Brenda: Oh! Well, I was thinking if this is used more often when someone is in a deep thought or in trouble.

Tony: That’s right. It is a polite way of asking somebody what they are thinking about if he or she is quiet for a long time.

Brenda: Yes, it also means that you are requesting somebody to give his or her opinion. Am I correct? A penny for your thoughts!

Tony: You are right, but don’t you think I deserve more for my precious thoughts?

Brenda: Oh C’mon, Tony! I won’t give you even a penny anyway!

Tony: Just Kidding! Okay, let’s listen to some conversations now.

Jack Wants to Join the Army.

Anna: A penny for your thoughts Jack, you look troubled.

Jack: It’s nothing, Anna. I just want to be alone for a moment.

Anna: C’mon Jack! You can tell me.

Jack: I want to join the Army, but my mom won’t allow me.

Anna: That’s what’s bothering you so much?

Jack: Yeah! You may think that’s not worth a penny but it’s important to me.

Anna: I understand, but you shouldn't worry so much!

Junky Beach.

Jack: Our beach has become so dirty.

Anna: It’s become a busy tourist attraction.

Jack: How do you feel about the tourists? A penny for your thoughts?

Anna: Sure, tourism is good, but we still need to take care of the beach.

Musical Thoughts.

Jack: Hey Anna. You look upset. A penny for thoughts, my dear.

Anna: Oh, it’s nothing. But now you made me remember a song that I love.

Jack: Hmm... Really? Which one?

Anna: ‘Lavender’ by Marillion. There’s a part that goes exactly like this: “a penny for your thoughts, my dear”.

Jack: I see! Sorry but I never heard of it.

Anna: It’s a lovely song!

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