How to use “Put one’s finger on something” in daily conversation

영어에는 특히 신체와 관련된 표현들이 굉장히 많아요. 미국에서 살면서 Tv show나 Podcast를 듣다 보면 정말 자주 나오는 표현 to put one’s finger on something 정확히 어떤 건지 모를 때 사용을 하죠!

그래서 준비했습니다. 집에서도 어학연수한다는 느낌으로 끝까지 보세요! 영어는 영어로 듣고 생각하고 배워야 합니다!

0:48 Put one’s finger on something 뜻
1:26 Put one’s finger on something 사용 예문
1:53 Put one’s finger on something 동의어 반의어


Caption

Slide #1
As you look around you, how many things can you put your finger on? I can easily touch my computer, my cell phone, my cup of coffee, and a few more things. So is this what the expression put one’s finger on something means? How many things can you actually touch? Let’s investigate and find out.

Slide #2
Before I explain the expression, it would first be helpful to give some background information. Put one’s finger on something has a literal or word-for-word meaning. Used this way it does mean to actually touch something with one’s finger. For example: The doctor put her finger on her iPad to start taking notes. He put his finger on the button and pressed.

Slide #3
As a figurative expression, put one’s finger on something means to clearly and correctly know what something is. It means you remember, identify, understand, or find the cause of something. If you put your finger on something you forgot, you have remembered it. If you put your finger on something like a problem, you have identified and found the cause of the problem. However, the expression is usually used in the negative as in you can’t put your finger on something. You can’t remember, identify, understand, or find the cause of something.

Slide #4
Here are some example sentences of how you might hear both versions of the expression used. First, put one’s finger on something. You put your finger on the problem with that plan. She put her finger on what was wrong with his story. And now, can’t put one’s finger on something. I can’t put my finger on the name of that actor. He couldn’t quite put his finger on the real issues.

Slide #5
It should be mentioned that there are some synonyms, words that mean the same thing, as put one’s finger on something and can’t put one’s finger on something. A few of those synonyms are: Identify and can’t identify. Find and can’t find. Understand and can’t understand. Remember and can’t remember or forget. So why would you use an expression instead of these other words? When you use one of the expressions I’ve just explained, it’s a more sophisticated use of English and shows you know how to use common expressions.

Slide #6
Now that you understand the difference between the literal and figurative meanings of put one’s finger on something and can’t put one’s finger on something, can you think of a way you can use the figurative version of either expression? What is something you do remember or understand? That is something you can put your finger on! What is something you don’t remember or don’t understand? That is something you can’t put your finger on! Leave an example of how you could use one of these expressions in the comment section below. We want to see your examples of how you can use put one’s finger on something or can’t put one’s finger on something.
Here’s my example. When I saw a former student in the grocery store, I couldn’t put my finger on her mother’s name. I was kind of embarrassed. If you liked this video, please hit the thumbs up, leave a comment, and subscribe. Learn English naturally and speak it with confidence! Thank you for watching!

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