When something is in the back of your mind, you're not focusing on it right now, but you’re still thinking about it a little, and you probably intend to do it later.
"Right now, I work as a waiter. But in the back of my mind, I'm thinking about real estate."
"I like my job, but retirement is often in the back of my mind."
"It's been in the back of my mind to ask for a raise, but I haven't done it yet."
Our second, related expression is to have something on the back burner.
If you think about a stove, usually there are maybe one or two burners in the front and one or two burners in the back. These are what you sit pots and pans on when cooking.
The front burners are closer, so these are usually what you’re cooking with.
But you might put something on a back burner, like a sauce or something, just to keep it warm with a little bit of heat.
"I knew a guy who always dated a few women at the same time. One was his main girlfriend and the others were on the back burner."
"The company has too many new products in stores already, so we're putting all new ideas on the back burner."
"Put that request on the back burner and we'll handle it later."
Pretty useful, right? :)
When you learn conversational English, natives become easier to understand, and you feel much more confident about speaking.
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