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How To Say "I Don't Know" In Spanish

If you are learning Spanish, one of the most important phrases to know is "I don't know". It is a simple phrase that can come in handy in many situations, whether you are traveling, studying, or just chatting with Spanish speakers. In this article, we will discuss how to say "I don't know" in Spanish, its meaning, and some regional differences.

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What is "I Don't Know" in Spanish?

"I don't know" in Spanish is "no sé" (IPA: /no se/). It is a simple and straightforward expression used to indicate a lack of knowledge or information. This phrase can be used in a variety of contexts, from everyday conversations to more formal settings.

Meaning of "I Don't Know" in Spanish

The phrase "no sé" is used to express uncertainty or lack of knowledge. It can be used in response to a question or as a statement on its own. For example, if someone asks you a question and you do not have the answer, you can respond with "no sé". Alternatively, you can use it to indicate that you do not have an opinion on a particular subject.

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Regional Differences

Spanish is a language spoken in many different countries, and as such, there may be regional differences in how "I don't know" is expressed. For example, in some Latin American countries, it is common to use the phrase no tengo idea (IPA: /no tenɡo iˈðea/) to express uncertainty or lack of knowledge. This phrase translates to "I have no idea" in English and is used in a similar way as "no sé".

Another regional difference is the use of the word puede (IPA: /ˈpwe.ðe/) in some Spanish-speaking countries. For example, in Mexico, it is common to say no sé, puede ser (IPA: /no seɪ ˈpwe.ðe seɾ/), which translates to "I don't know, it could be". This phrase is used to indicate that you are uncertain but open to the possibility that the answer is correct. 

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How to Say "I Don't Know" in Spanish: Sample Sentences

Here are five sample sentences you can use to say "I don't know" in Spanish:

  • ¿Sabes dónde está el baño? —No sé.

(Do you know where the bathroom is? —I don't know.)

  • ¿Cuál es la capital de Argentina? —No tengo idea.

(What is the capital of Argentina? —I have no idea.)

  • ¿Crees que va a llover hoy? —No lo sé.

(Do you think it's going to rain today? —I don't know.)

  • ¿Cómo se llama la persona que te recomendó este restaurante? —No tengo ni la menor idea.

(What is the name of the person who recommended this restaurant to you? —I haven't got the slightest idea.)

  • ¿Qué piensas de esta propuesta? —No tengo ninguna opinión al respecto.

(What do you think of this proposal? —I have no opinion on the matter.)


Knowing how to say "I don't know" in Spanish is essential for anyone who wants to communicate effectively in this language. While "no sé" is the most common phrase used to convey this meaning, it is important to be aware of regional variations that might exist. With the information provided in this article, you should be able to use "no sé" confidently in a variety of situations.

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