For example, upon my first arrival in a new city, I was shocked by the backwardness of this place, so I thought to myself, what a shitty place, why do I even come here. But of course, I wouldn't say so in public. I only had this idea in my mind.

So my question is: Is there an expression in English that can convey such meaning in a more concise way. Thanks!

2 Answers 2


As you have said, "I thought to myself... ." If we think something to ourselves, we don't share our thoughts with others. We keep them to ourselves. So, this expression should work.

An idiom which may also be useful here is "heart of hearts." It's the depths of one's conscience or emotions. In your heart of hearts = in your most secret and true thoughts (Cambridge Dictionary). So, you could also say:

I was shocked by the place and in my heart of hearts I knew it wasn't for me.


I think you've already made that part of the sentence quite concise:

"I thought to myself..."

Those 4 words make it quite clear you did not say what follows out loud. There is no real need for you to clarify by adding that you did not say that out loud.

Also, the expression "I said to myself" usually refers to inner-monologue, and not speaking out loud to oneself.

Of course, not saying something out loud does not necessarily mean that you would never say that out loud to someone else. If you want to make that clear to your reader that you, or the first person you are writing about, would not say that out loud then you may have to do just that.

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