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27 / 09 / 2006

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS: meaning and examples

Good morning,

Last week we received a question from one of our students, Antonio A.:

Hi, Some time ago, I heard the expression "a penny for your thoughts." Can you comment about it? Thanks.

Today's expression is: a penny for your thoughts

It is used: to ask someone what they are thinking about.

This expression is used in spoken conversation, for the most part.

Example 1:
Jason: Boy... you are sure quiet today. A penny for your thoughts.
Alice: Oh's nothing. I'm just worried about the speech I have to give tomorrow.
Jason: Don't worry; I'm sure it will go fine.

A penny, as you may know, is a small coin in the US or Canada that is worth one cent. (There are 100 cents in a dollar.) The plural of penny in the US and Canada is pennies, and in the rest of the English-speaking world it is generally pence, although it's actually a bit more complicated than that. For more information, I invite you to visit Wikipedia (

There are many expressions in English that use the word penny, and other money-related words:

-in for a penny, in for a pound
-not to have a penny to your name
-penny wise, pound foolish

Can you guess what these expressions mean? I will go over them tomorrow.

Thank you very much for your question Antonio. Please post any questions about today's Daily Vitamin in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website. If you have any questions about how to use the Daily Vitamin Plus! section or would like to receive a Daily Vitamin Plus! manual, please contact us.

Enjoy the rest of your day.