Then I had an idea. (Expressions that describe ideas coming into our minds)

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Kate Woodford

Andrew Rich/Vetta/Getty Andrew Rich/Vetta/Getty

This week we’re looking at the various expressions that we use to say that a thought or idea comes into our mind. As ever, when looking at a particular area of the language, we hope to provide you with a range of interesting ways to say something.

We’ll start with the verb strike. If a thought or idea strikes you, it suddenly comes into your mind: That was when the thought struck him. Like other verbs with this meaning, ‘strike’ is often used in the structure ‘It struck someone that…’

It struck me that Dan might not be the best person for the job.

Another very common way of saying this is the phrasal verb occur to. Again, the structure that we often use is ‘It occurred to someone that…’:

It occurred to me that we could invite Sophia.

Interestingly, we often use…

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