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Laura K. Lawless

French expression: On ne sait jamais

By March 9, 2012

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What does the idiomatic French expression on ne sait jamais mean? Click to learn all about it, and then come back here to share your thoughts.
More: French expressions | Common French phrases

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March 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm
(1) visitingreader says:

Amène un pull, on ne sait jamais.
Bring a sweater, you never know.

Why wouldn’t you use “apporter,” as a sweater is a thing, not a person?

March 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm
(2) LKL - French Guide says:
March 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm
(3) Andrew says:

So what is the difference between:

on ne sait jamais and tu ne sauras jamais ( based on the song)


March 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm
(4) LKL - French Guide says:

It’s about the same as “you never know” (defeatist) and “you’ll never know” (prediction).

March 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm
(5) francisca says:

I know “sait on jamais ” ,and I hope to know if it’s the same that “on ne sais jamais”

March 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm
(6) Edward says:

I like the “lard or pork” expression. It reminds me of a Spanish expression about being served cat for rabbit. Wherever you go in this world you never know…

March 10, 2012 at 12:16 am
(7) John Roynesdal says:

You mention the use of “You” in English, when one speaks generally; speaking as an American, I find that the use of “You” is abused; actually it is more “proper” in English, as well as American english to use “one” in place of “you” – Example, “One must avoid using swear words, when in front of children.”

March 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm
(8) Geo says:

Would you allow the LA
Cajun variant: “On sait pas jamais”?

March 13, 2012 at 3:44 am
(9) LKL - French Guide says:

Geo – no, I wouldn’t, as that is grammatically incorrect – “You don’t never know.”

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