Glossary Home Idioms

You read my mind

“You read my mind” is a common English idiom. It’s used when one person wants to convey how well the other person knows them.

The idiom can be used in everyday conversations, in writing, and in conversations between close colleagues. The phrase is very well-known, meaning that when it’s used, it’s likely that everyone who hears it is going to understand what’s being said. It’s unlikely anyone is going to walk away from the conversation or turn away from the book without knowing what the speaker/author intended. “You read my mind” is a great way to convey the similar thoughts two people are having.

You read my mind idiom definition


“You read my mind” is a common idiom that’s quite well-known. It suggests that someone knows the other person so well, they guessed what they were thinking.

Someone may have suggested something that the other person was thinking or asked a question someone else wanted to ask. When someone uses this phrase, it’s usually in a positive way. It will be used when one person feels connected to another, or, to use another idiom, that they are on the same page with someone else. The idiom may also be used in a different way, in a sarcastic or facetious manner. For example, one person might use it in order to reveal how little the other person knows about them. 


It’s thought that this phrase originated in the late 1800s. But, besides this, there is no information in regard to where this idiom came from or who first used it, set it down in print, or how it may have evolved over time. There are other versions of the same sentiment, such as being “on the same page” or “finishing someone’s sentences.” 

Like most idioms, it’s likely that this idiom evolved over time. It could’ve taken a different form initially and transitioned into the contemporary version used today. 

When To Use “You read my mind”

It’s possible to use “you read my mind” in a wide variety of situations. The phrase can be applied when one friend is talking to another, a group of family members is spending time together, or many there situations. It’s easy to see how this idiom could also be used in slightly more professional situations. But, it’s unlikely to appear in a very serious business meeting or within an academic paper of any kind. It’s a colloquialism, meaning that it’s a phrase used in casual conversations. 

One friend might use this phrase when the other suggests a type of food to have for dinner or a course of action to take the next day. It is usually used as an exclamation. For example, “That’s a great idea! You read my mind!” 

Example Sentences

  • You read my mind! Let’s do that. 
  • If only she could read my mind. We’d always be on the same page. 
  • He and I are always thinking alike, it’s like he can read my mind. 
  • You totally read my mind when you suggested that we go out for dinner. 
  • It’s like he can read my mind. He always knows what I want. 

Why Do Writers Use “You read my mind?” 

Writers use “you read my mind” in the same way and for the same reasons that it’s used in everyday conversations. The phrase is easily incorporated into a dialogue between two characters. For example, two friends might be discussing what they want to do later that day, and one suggests something that the other was thinking. This may inspire them to use the idiom “you read my mind.” Like most idioms, this one is quite well-known. This means that when it’s used in a dialogue, readers are going to recognize it as something that they hear on the street or perhaps even as a phrase they used. This may make a writer’s dialogue more convincing, something that’s always a benefit to one’s writing. 

But, all that being said, it’s not always appropriate to use idioms, especially ones as common as “you read my mind” in writing. This is due to the fact that these phrases are so well-known that they’re cliché.


Why do people use “you read my mind?” 

People use this phrase when they want to convey how connected they feel to another person. That other person knew something or said something that the first was thinking themselves. 

Where did “you read my mind” come from? 

It’s unclear exactly where this phrase came from. But, it’s likely that it evolved over time. 

What does “you read my mind” mean? 

It means that someone knew what another person was thinking. When it’s used, the person saying it doesn’t actually believe the other can read their mind. But, it feels like they could at that moment.

Related Idioms 

Discover the Essential Secrets

of Poetry

Sign up to unveil the best kept secrets in poetry,

brought to you by the experts

The Best-Kept Secrets of Poetry

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry ever straight to your inbox

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap