Je n’en reviens pas

Je n'en reviens pas
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French Expression

Meaning I can’t believe it, I can’t get over it
Literally I’m not coming back from it
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Pronunciation [zheu na(n) reu vyeh(n) pah]
IPA   [ʒə nã ʁə vjɛ̃ pa]

Usage notes: The French phrase ne pas en revenir is an exclamation of surprise or disbelief, where the adverbial pronoun en stands in for the event – good or bad – you find so surprising. It’s most commonly used as an interjection.

Par exemple…

C’est incroyable, je n’en reviens pas !   That’s incredible, I can’t believe it!
Thierry nous mentait tout ce temps, nous n’en revenons pas !   Thierry was lying to us this whole time, we can’t believe it!

Alternatively, you can follow ne pas en revenir with que + subjunctive.

Je n’en reviens pas que tu fasses ça.   I can’t believe you’re doing that.
Il n’en revient pas que je sois parti.   He can’t get over the fact that I left.

While it’s usually used in the present tense, you can also use ne pas en revenir in the imperfect for something that surprised you in the past.

Elle chantait comme un ange, je n’en revenais pas.   She sang like an angel, I couldn’t get over it.
On allait gagner mais à la dernière seconde, l’autre équipe a marqué un but. Je n’en revenais pas.   We were going to win but at the last second, the other team scored. I couldn’t believe it.

Somewhat synonymous

  Note that ne pas en revenir is not always an idiomatic expression; if you break down the words, you can see that it can also mean "to not come back from."

Pierre est au bureau, il n’en revient pas avant 18h.   Pierre is at the office, he doesn’t come back (from there) until 6pm.

 Related lessons

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Je n'en reviens pas
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