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I must say I am lost on what we are talking about here.

(source : Duty-free Entry Or Temporary Suspensions of Duty)

Is "lost on what" correct English? Should it be written as "lost about what" ? If it's correct English, what does it mean? I guess it means like "I don't have a grasp on what we are talking about here"

  • Lost on: not appreciated or understood by (someone). This seems a colloquial variation on the phrasal verb. – Andrew Aug 4 at 16:20
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"lost on what" Good question, it is commonly used where I come from.

However it is correct On is a preposition meaning relating to and Lost on is an idiom meaning not understood.

I must say I am lost on what we are talking about here

I must say I am lost in relation to what we are talking about here

on preposition (RELATING) Cambridge English Dictionary

a book on pregnancy

Whilst the phrase Lost on is an idiom meaning: not appreciated or understood by (someone) MERRIAM-WEBSTER

The jokes were lost on me.

Quest for meaning is lost on the little’un The Guardian UK

If we use the idiom here.

I must say I am lost on what we are talking about here

I must say I am not understanding what we are talking about here.

So however you choose to interpret the sentence the meaning is "They do not understand the conversation"

  • I agree that "lost on" is idiomatic, but I would like to see some kind of supporting evidence to bolster your answer other than "I think it's fine". Something like a dictionary reference would be sufficient, and even better if you can quote other uses from things like newspaper articles. – Andrew Aug 4 at 16:18
  • @Andre Noted and done, thanks – Brad Aug 5 at 2:11

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