eslHQ Home
User Name Password
Lost Password? | Join eslHQ.com, it's FREE!
View today's posts
Search Extras Help   

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 24th, 2016, 05:51 am
eslHQ Zealot
 
Join Date: Mar 12th, 2013
Posts: 131
fface is on a distinguished road
Default draw a blank

Hi,

What's the difference between 'draw a blank' and 'one's mind is a blank'? For example:

1. I tried to remember where I put my wallet, but I drew a blank.

2. I tried to remember where I put my wallet, but my mind is a blank.

Thank you!

Last edited by susan53 : Mar 25th, 2016 at 01:58 am.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 25th, 2016, 02:14 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,345
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: draw a blank

The meaning is different.

1. "to draw a blank" = to be unable to do something / to be unsuccessful. It has nothing to do with memory. Here's an example of a magazine article headline :
a. Seven magnificent movies of 2014 that drew a blank at the Oscars
- in other words, which failed to win anything at the Oscars.
And from a report on the American primaries :
b. Clinton’s win, meanwhile, thwarted hopes from Sanders’ campaign for an early morale boost after the Vermont senator drew a blank in five important contests across the Midwest and the South last week.
ie Sanders was unsuccessful in five .... etc

2. "My mind is a blank / My mind went blank", on the other hand, means "I can't/couldn't remember. Eg :
a. As soon as I sat down in the exam room, my mind went blank. I couldn't remember anything I'd studied.
b. He knew he'd gone into the kitchen to get something, but he couldn't remember what it was. His mind was / had gone completely blank.

So in the sentences you quote, (1) is possible, but (2) is more likely.
__________________
An ELT Notebook
The DELTA Course
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 25th, 2016, 05:36 am
eslHQ Zealot
 
Join Date: Mar 12th, 2013
Posts: 131
fface is on a distinguished road
Default Re: draw a blank

Hi susan,

"I tried to remember where I put my wallet, but I drew a blank."

Does the sentence mean I can't remember where I put my wallet?
If yes, I think it has the same meaning as the example 2 I gave above. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thank you very much.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 25th, 2016, 07:50 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,345
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: draw a blank

No - as I said : it means "but I wasn't able to ".
in this case it comes out as the same which is why both are possible. In your sentence it means I wasn't able to remember - but that's because of the context, because of what was said before - I tried to remember..... Consider:
I tried to find John's skype address but I drew a blank.
in that context it would mean : I wasn't able to find John's skype address. .
The expression itself has nothing to do with memory
__________________
An ELT Notebook
The DELTA Course
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 26th, 2016, 05:47 am
eslHQ Zealot
 
Join Date: Mar 12th, 2013
Posts: 131
fface is on a distinguished road
Default Re: draw a blank

Hi susan,
Thank you very much for your helpful answer.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 26th, 2016, 05:58 am
eslHQ Zealot
 
Join Date: Mar 12th, 2013
Posts: 131
fface is on a distinguished road
Default Re: draw a blank

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
No - as I said : it means "but I wasn't able to ".
in this case it comes out as the same which is why both are possible.
Hi susan,

Thank you for your helpful answer. I know the two expressions don't mean the same. Do you mean the two sentences can mean the same thing because of the context?

Last edited by susan53 : Mar 28th, 2016 at 04:12 am.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 28th, 2016, 04:18 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,345
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: draw a blank

Not that the phrases "mean the same thing" but that the co-text means that the full sentences end up meaning the same thing. As I said, change the verb in the first part and you change the meaning of the full sentence. But the meaning of the individual phrases remains the same : 1. I wasn't successful 2. I couldn't remember.

Another example :

The police had been investigating the murder for 6 months, but so far had drawn a blank.

Again, nothing to do with memory.
__________________
An ELT Notebook
The DELTA Course
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads Replies
Draw School Supplies 0
Draw Some Fruits and Vegetables 1
DRAW , THEN GUESS MY PIC 0
Draw this! 0
weather seasons draw cards 0

An ELT Notebook (2)
Methodology, practical activities and lots more.

Find the Best TEFL, TESL, TESOL & CELTA Certification Courses - User Submitted Ratings & Reviews for Online, Distance & Abroad TEFL Courses. Over 3,500 reviews of 100+ TEFL schools!

Teach English in Thailand - Onsite and Combined TEFL certification courses in Phuket, Thailand.


Free ESL Flashcards


Similar Threads Replies
Draw School Supplies 0
Draw Some Fruits and Vegetables 1
DRAW , THEN GUESS MY PIC 0
Draw this! 0
weather seasons draw cards 0


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:48 am.

All materials from this website are for classroom-use only. Digital redistribution of materials, in part or in whole, is strictly forbidden!

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2