Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

vocabulary it's a no brainer

Do you make decisions quickly?

Are there times when you struggle or feel unsure about your decision?

Have you heard that something is a “no brainer” in English?

If something was difficult, did you hear somebody refer to it as “tricky”?

We’re going to look at the varying levels of difficulty in decision making and how to express that in English.

We’re also going to look at what each specific term means regarding decision making so you can use it in everyday conversation.


That’s A Real No Brainer

Have you heard the phrase “no brainer” in conversation and felt a bit confused?

To say that something is a no brainer means that it’s very easy.

It is typically a choice of some sort or something that you have to do.

The choice or answer is so clear that you can make it right away without even giving it a second thought.

An example: “I had to pick between my favorite dessert of cookies or pie–it was a no brainer that I went for the cookies!”


Other ways to say the same thing or just that something is easy:

  • An easy choice : Deciding to take a vacation is an easy choice.
  • A cakewalk: This event is a cakewalk, it practically runs itself.
    • This is typically used for events or experiences.


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Sometimes It’s Not An Easy Decision

You may have times when the decision isn’t quite so easy to make.

You may have heard natives say “that’s tricky”.

This basically means that you have a tough time in making the decision.

Though you may have come to a conclusion, it wasn’t quite as easy as a “no brainer”.

An example: “I knew that I wanted to be outside, but it was tricky to decide if I should ride my bike or go for a walk.”


Other ways to say the same thing or that a decision was more difficult to come to:

  • That’s a tough one: “I wish I knew the answer to that but it’s a tough one.”
  • That’s a tricky decision: “Hmmm that’s a really tricky decision. What do you think we should do?”
  • That’s a tough call: “We could pick either restaurant because they are both great. That’s a tough call!”


The Decision Can Be Really Difficult

There are times when you simply can’t make a decision.

You may not have all of the information that you need to make the decision.

You may like both decisions and need to think about it.

You may just be indecisive in this area and struggle to come to a conclusion.

An example: “I know that I want to go on vacation, but I just can’t decide where to pick as the destination.”


Other ways to say that you are having trouble deciding:

  • Can’t decide: “I just can’t decide if I like him or not!”
  • I’m torn: “Should I go to Italy or France? Both are great so I’m torn on this one!”
  • On the fence: “Should I wear the pink or the red dress? I’m on the fence about it.”



Making a decision can be easy or it can be a little more difficult.

Today we have shown you different ways to express this.

Try using each phrase when it’s fitting and see how natural it feels in English,.

This is a great way to make connections and practice using different phrases in conversation.


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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