Je ne m’en doutais pas.
zhuhn mah doo-tay PAH. Click below to hear this pronounced!
I never suspected a thing!
If you thought this looked as if it might mean I didn’t doubt it, you had plenty of company…but your company was wrong. This has to be one of the weirdest verbs of all time, from the point of view of the meaning.
Douter really does mean to doubt…but the moment you tweak it at all, suddenly it takes on new and… pardon the pun… unsuspected meanings. So J’en doute means I doubt it, while Je m’en doute means I suspect it.
Pop in a negative (Je ne m’en doute pas), and now you are saying I don’t suspect so. Put it in the past tense–here, the imperfect–and you are saying Why, I had no idea!
Which is probably exactly what you are thinking about this peculiar verb, right about now. Tune in next time for more doubtful sayings.
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