Let that sink in is a common phrase used by people during conversation. Like many random sayings, this one is pretty straightforward. Its origins are not exact but the meaning of this phrase is pretty clear.
What does is mean when someone says “let that sink in”?
Let that sink in can mean to make you consider something more deeply. It can also mean to let more information enter your mind and become clearer. The point of this phrase is simply to focus on what someone else is saying more than it would typically be done without the use of this term. To let that sink in means to actually think about what someone is saying before you reply or react to it with your own words.
The reality is that the preceding statement must have been somewhat of a revelation. Hence the use of “let that sink in” is used so that the listener can contemplate upon it. You have to pay attention to what the person is saying and observe the way they are saying it. It doesn’t come off as too odd or different, but most people do not think about how they say things and their tone of voice.
Examples of how to use the saying, let that sink in.
In this first example, the person you are having a conversation with says “did you know that the pyramids took around 20 years to build, let that sink in!”. They are saying let that sink in because it’s rather mind-boggling that it took so long to build the pyramids.
In this second example, the person uses let that sink in to emphasize the importance of their statement. They are saying “let that sink in ladies and gentlemen.” The intent is to have you listen to their speech attentively.
Another example is when someone tells you something that is rather complex. They will provide this statement, “let that sink in” (this phrase). It’s used to let you know that they are talking about something very important or something that you might not initially understand due to how complicated it is. The person will say this phrase so that you can actually understand what they are saying.
Close equivalent phrases to let that sink in
There are several other common ways to say the same thing as “let that sink in”. The most common close equivalent phrase is “just think about that.”
The meaning of this phrase is very similar to that of letting that sink in. The difference is that it does not necessarily mean focusing on the content of what someone says and thinking about it after they say it. It can mean much more, like to take it into consideration.
This phrase is used when someone says something really valuable to you or valuable information you had never heard before. They are saying this because this valuable information needs your thought process to consider how you are going to use what you just learned or how valuable it is.
Alternatively, you could say just think about that to mean to contemplate the value of something. It’s used in situations where you are trying to be serious and want someone to focus on what they are doing. This is usually due to how you are saying it, like saying it with force or stressing certain words like “just”.
Another close equivalent phrase is “imagine that.” It has almost the exact same meaning as let that sink in. This phrase can be used interchangeably with “let that sink in.” The difference is that it’s a bit more forceful. It means to imagine how something would be like and observe the aspects of it like its shape and size and color and weight.
When not to use “let that sink in”
The term is not to be used lightly as it really adds a force to your words. When saying this phrase, it’s best to think carefully about what you are going to say. The purpose of this phrase is to have you ponder about something that has been said to you or something that is being said. It’s not the same as being simplistic or being vague with your language.
It’s also a bit odd when a person uses let that sink in when they mean “just think about it” so be careful with this phrasing.
The term that is used for when you say something and then they say something is called a conversational overlap. It’s basically overlapping what someone else says and saying the same thing but with different words. It’s considered okay to do this if it’s not too much of an overlap, like using let that sink in and just think about it.
When it comes to usage, the phrase “let that sink in” is quite straightforward. It’s only used when someone says something that is heavy or important and you want them to think about it before they speak. It’s never used with the intent of being vague or not being clear, just to let you understand what another person is saying.
If you’re using this phrase correctly, your listener will notice how it’s said with force and importance. It’s used when a person thinks what you said is important or they want to make sure you’ve heard what they said.
It’s a phrase that is derived from a common saying, but it isn’t used too much. The best way to use it is by observing someone else say it and learn from that rather than just trying to memorize it. When you start using let that sink in , its intent will be clear and people will understand why you are saying it because of the manner in which you say it.