Perdere il filo

Perdere il filo in Italian

Perdere il filo
To lose your train of thought

Literal translationTo lose the thread
MeaningUsed to describe someone who forgets a conversation’s topic
IPA pronunciation/ˈpɛrdere il ˈfiːlo/

Sometimes you can also find this idiom as perdere il filo del discorso, literally meaning “to lose the conversation’s thread”.

Perdere il filo del discorso
To lose your train of thought

Where does this come from? This idiom is related to the old art of weaving, la tessitura. In rug making, you have to be careful to pull the right threads because there is a precise pattern that you must follow for the design to come out well. If you lose the position of these threads… you have to start all over again!

a woman sewing

For example, you can say…

Ho perso il filo dei discorso. Cosa stavo dicendo?
I lost my train of thought. What was I saying?

Il nostro professore di lettere perde spesso il filo mentre spiega.
Our literature professor often loses track (of his conversation) while explaining.


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