Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever had déjà vu?

Do you ever feel like you’ve been somewhere before or talked about something in the past?

If you have ever found yourself in a situation that you think you’ve experienced before, then you have likely had déjà vu.

This is what we’re talking about today, as it can come up often in conversation.

We will learn what it is, how to talk about it, and why this may come up more often than you might think.

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Today we have a great question to discuss about this very subject.

Hey Lindsay and Jessica, I’m Tahmine from Iran.

I am so grateful about finding you and your wonderful show! To be honest during the last three months with school being closed, I haven’t had my English classes. I haven’t had the same exposure or help that I used to. The dialogue that the two of you have helps me a lot, and I am always learning something new.

I’d like to ask a question about two phrases that I’ve heard lately. The first is “mind over matter”, and I just don’t know what this means. The second is “déjà vu”, and I would love to know how to use this. I am confused by these phrases, and I am hoping you can help me to understand them both. I’d also love to know how to use them properly.

Thanks a bunch for your help and for a great show!

Looking At A Common Phrase

This is a great question, as this will be a really fun topic to explore.

We are going to focus on déjà vu as a phrase and idea today, and we will get to mind over matter another time.

So what is deja vu?

It is French for “already seen”, and we use this in English all the time.

Though this may not be an exact translation, it is close enough and helps to explain what it is or what you may experience.

Do you get deja vu a lot?

It’s always this creepy feeling, it’s as if you have lived through this situation or been there before.

You feel like something has happened before when you are sure it hasn’t, but in the moment you are kind of confused because it feels like it has.

This is something that you can easily identify with if you have experienced it firsthand, and therefore you want to know how to talk about it.

There are many theories about this, though we aren’t going to get into the science today.

Basically there is a lot of confusion about it, but there are some pretty significant ideas surrounding this.

There’s a video from 2013, that is a great one to watch to get an idea of how this works.

So what can you say when you experience this?

You may have also heard people say it’s related to dreams, many other ideas, or even another life?

We won’t get into all this today, but just know that there’s a lot of theories and information around the idea of déjà vu.

Examples of How This May Occur

This may be something that you experience a lot with a certain smell that is familiar to you.

It may even be the overall feel of something that is familiar, and therefore you want to talk about this.

Lindsay: “Isn’t this restaurant great?”

Michelle: “Yes, hold on, I’m having a deja vu. This is so weird. I remember this restaurant.”

Sometimes you may say “a déjà vu” and sometimes you may say “déjà vu.”

“It’s deja vu all over again” is a frequent expression from Yogi Berra that you may hear used often.

Sometimes it may be used as more of a joke, while other times it may be very literal.


Lindsay: “Wow you cleaned the bathroom.”

Michelle: “See? I actually do help around the apartment. Aren’t you having a deja vu?”

Lindsay: “Ha. Ha.”

Michelle: “It’s Monday. It’s deja vu all over again.”

Lindsay: “Didn’t you use that excuse last time you broke your computer? It’s like I’m having deja vu all over again!”

So we can use it in a more literal way also, to say something is repetitive in a sense.

Other Ways To Express This Feeling

There are other ways to express this sort of sensation, as it may be more common than you might think.

If you find yourself in a situation where this comes up, there are other ways to express it.

These are worth knowing as you can use any of these in conversation.

Other ways to express this:

  • I have a feeling I’ve been here/done this/seen this before: This is very straight and to the point, and it says what you are feeling. You may get this feeling often, and it’s a great way to express it easily.
  • I don’t think this is the first time this has happened: This can almost speak to that eerie feeling that may come about when you experience this. It’s as if you have already lived in this moment somehow.
  • I feel like I’ve seen/done this/ been here in another life: It’s another way of saying the same thing, and it’s something that you can almost feel through the words. It’s a really great way to express it.

These can offer you other options to express this same sort of feeling that we are all familiar with.


This is not an English expression, but it is used often!

It is a French phrase that has been adapted to be used to describe a strange feeling that we all experience.

Many of us have experienced that sensation, and it can be so weird.

If you feel like you have been here before or gone through this exact same situation, then you know that you are experiencing déjà vu.

This is common enough that it may come up in conversation as we use it frequently.

It is a very weird feeling, and it can be interesting to see if this is a common occurrence discussed frequently in other cultures.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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