You're planning a trip to an amusement park with some of your coworkers. You ask one coworker if she likes roller coasters, and she says she doesn't know. You realize that she's never been on one, and you're surprised.
Don't tell me you've never ridden a roller coaster before!
Use this phrase to check your guess about something and show your surprise at the same time.
For example, imagine that your old friend from college who you haven't seen in 10 years has a son, Nathan. The last time you saw Nathan, he was 4 years old. Now you run into your friend on the street and she's with a young man who looks a little bit like your friend. You can say:
Don't tell me this is Nathan!
This means "This is Nathan, isn't it?" as well as "I can't believe this is Nathan!"
Here are some more examples:
Don't tell me you're tired already!
Don't tell me you've never seen "Titanic"!
Don't tell me there's no peanut butter left!
We use this expression in spoken English, not in writing.
A "roller coaster" is like a little train that goes up and down hills quickly and sometimes turns upside down. Roller coasters are an example of a "ride" at an amusement park, fair, carnival, etc. Other examples of "rides" include:
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