Common French Expressions Using Savoir

Idiomatic French expressions

Basketball players know very well how to play the game

Caiaimage / Chris Ryan / Getty Images

The French verb savoir literally means "to know" and is also used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how they say "knowledge is power," "make up your mind," and "God only knows" in France with this extensive list of expressions with savoir.

Variations on Meanings of Savoir

Expressions with Savoir

  • à savoir: "that is, namely"
  • (à) savoir si ça va lui plaire!: "there's no knowing whether he'll like it or not!"
  • savoir bien: "to know something very well" or "be very aware of that"
  • savoir bien se défendre: "to be quite capable of looking after oneself"
  • savoir, c'est pouvoir: "knowledge is power"
  • savoir écouter: "to be a good listener"
  • savoir gré à quelqu'un de + past infinitive: "to be grateful to someone for..."
  • savoir quelque chose de/par quelqu'un: "to hear something from someone"
  • ne pas savoir que/quoi faire pour...: "to be at a loss as to how to..."
  • ne plus savoir ce qu'on dit: "to not know/realize what one is saying" or "to not be aware of what one is saying"
  • ne savoir à quel saint se vouer: "to not know which way to turn"
  • ne savoir aucun gré à quelqu'un de + past infinitive: "to not be at all grateful to someone for..."
  • ne savoir où donner de la tête: "to not know whether one is coming or going"
  • ne savoir où se mettre: "to not know where to put oneself"
  • se savoir + adjective: "to know that oneself is + adjective"
  • Ça, je sais (le) faire: "Now that I can do"
  • Ça finira bien par se savoir: "It'll get out in the end"
  • Ça se saurait si c'était vrai: "If it were true people would know about it"
  • Ces explications ont su éclairer et rassurer: "These explanations proved both enlightening and reassuring"
  • C'est difficile à savoir: "It's hard to know"
  • croire tout savoir: "to think that one knows it all/everything"
  • Dieu sait pourquoi...: "God knows why..."
  • Dieu sait si...: "God knows how (much)..."
  • Dieu seul le sait: "God only knows"
  • en savoir trop (long): "to know too much"
  • et que sais-je encore: "and I don't know what else"
  • faire savoir à quelqu'un que...: "to inform someone/let someone know that..."
  • Faudrait savoir! (informal): "make up your mind" or "it's about time we knew"
  • Il a toujours su y faire/s'y prendre: "He's always known how to do things (the right way)"
  • Il faut savoir attendre: "You have to learn to be patient/to wait"
  • Il faut savoir se contenter de peu: "You have to learn to be content with little"
  • il n'a rien voulu savoir: "he didn't want to know"
  • Il ne sait ni A ni B: "He doesn't have a clue about anything"
  • Il ne sait pas ce qu'il veut: "He doesn't know what he wants" or "he doesn't know his own mind"
  • Il ne sait rien de rien: "He doesn't have a clue about anything"
  • Il y a je ne sais combien de temps que...: "It's been I don't know how long since" or "I don't how long it is/it has been since..."
  • Je crois savoir que...: "I believe/understand that..." or "I am led to believe/understand that..."
  • Je n'en sais rien: "I don't know" or "I have no idea"
  • Je ne sache pas que...: "I wasn't aware" or "I didn't know that..."
  • je ne sais où: "goodness knows where"
  • Je ne sais plus ce que je dis: "I no longer know what I'm saying"
  • je ne sais quoi de + adjective: "something (odd, familiar, etc.)"
  • Je ne saurais pas vous répondre/vous renseigner: "I'm afraid I can't answer you/give you any information"
  • Je ne saurais vous exprimer toute ma gratitude (formal): "I shall never be able to express my gratitude"
  • Je ne savais quoi (or que) dire/faire: "I didn't know what to say/do"
  • Je ne veux pas le savoir (informal): "I don't want to know"
  • J'en sais quelque chose (informal): "I can relate to that"
  • Je sais bien, mais...: "I know, but..."
  • Je sais ce que je sais: "I know what I know"
  • Je voudrais en savoir davantage: "I'd like to know more about it"
  • Monsieur, Madame, Mademoiselle je-sais-tout (informal): "smart-alec" or "know-it-all"
  • l'objet que vous savez: "you-know-what"
  • On ne sait jamais: "You never know"
  • Oui, mais sachez que...: "Yes, but you should know that..."
  • pas que je sache: "not as far as I know" or "not to my knowledge"
  • la personne que vous savez: "you-know-who"
  • pleurer tout ce qu'on savait (informal): "to cry for all one is worth" or "to cry one's eyes out"
  • pour autant que je sache: "as far as I know" or "to the best of my knowledge"
  • que je sache: "as far as I know" or "to the best of my knowledge"
  • Qu'en savez-vous?: "How do you know? What do you know about it?"
  • Qui sait?: "Who knows?"
  • Sachez (bien) que jamais je n'accepterai!: "I'll have you know/Let me tell you I will never accept!"
  • Sachons-le bien, si...: "Let's be quite clear, if..."
  • sans le savoir: "without knowing/realizing (it)" or "unknowingly, unwittingly"
  • si j'avais su: "had I known" or "if I had known"
  • Tout ce que vous avez toujours voulu savoir sur...: "Everything you've always wanted to know about..."
  • Tu en sais, des choses (informal): "you certainly know a thing or two, don't you!"
  • tu sais (interjection): "you know"
  • Tu sais quoi ? (informal): "You know what?"
  • Vous n'êtes pas sans savoir que... (formal): "You are not unaware/ignorant (of the fact) that..."
  • Vous savez la nouvelle?: "Have you heard/Do you know the news?"
  • le savoir: "learning, knowledge"
  • le savoir-être: "interpersonal skills"
  • le savoir-faire: "know-how" or "expertise"
  • le savoir-vivre: "manners"
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Team, ThoughtCo. "Common French Expressions Using Savoir." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Team, ThoughtCo. (2023, April 5). Common French Expressions Using Savoir. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "Common French Expressions Using Savoir." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 29, 2023).