"You Never Know" in French

Pen markings on lottery ticket
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Expression: On ne sait jamais - On sait jamais

Pronunciation: [ o(n) n(eu) seh zha meh | o(n) seh zha meh]

Meaning: you never know, you never can tell

Literal translation: one never knows

Register: normal


The French expression on ne sait jamais means "you never know," where "you" refers to people in general. As in other French expressions, the indefinite subject "you" is expressed with the ​indefinite subject pronoun on.​​

Remember that in informal speech, the negative word ne is usually dropped: On sait jamais. You can hear both versions pronounced in the sound file, above.


Amène un pull, on ne sait jamais.

Bring a sweater, you never know.

Tu as acheté un billet de loterie ?

Oui, pourquoi pas ? On sait jamais!

You bought a lottery ticket?

Sure, why not? You never know!

Related Expression

On ne sait jamais avec lui si c'est du lard ou du cochon (informal)

You never know where you are with him; literally, "One never knows with him if it's fat or pork"

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Team, ThoughtCo. ""You Never Know" in French." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, thoughtco.com/on-ne-sait-jamais-1371325. Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). "You Never Know" in French. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/on-ne-sait-jamais-1371325 Team, ThoughtCo. ""You Never Know" in French." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/on-ne-sait-jamais-1371325 (accessed June 2, 2023).