Discover the French phrase "Je n'y crois pas"

Are you ready to learn everything you want to know about the basic phrase “Je n’y crois pas”?

This include a complete definition of what it is and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example. Together with the useful informations we added like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, synonyms and more!

Oh and if you are interested, on this page you will find our others phrases pages plus the directory of all our French words pages on this page. Happy learning!

Table of Contents

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French to English

How to pronounce

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean?


“Je n’y crois pas” is a shortened way of saying “Je ne crois pas à cela” which literally means:

  • Je → I
  • Ne crois pas → Don’t believe
  • à cela → To that (In that)

Let’s focus on how “ne (…) à cela” became just “n’y“. In French “y” refers to “it” and ” n’ ” is a short version for “ne“, which is the negation word (like “not“).

That’s why, even if it’s impossible to translate “n’y” directly in English, it means something like “not it“. So when we say “Je n’y crois pas” we are literally saying “I not it believe” to express “I don’t believe it“.

And what about “pas“? Why should we add it if we already added the negation “ne“? Because that’s how you express negation in French, by using the combination: ne + verb + pas.

Even if you will discover below that we don’t always respect this rule…

How to use it

If someone asks you if you believe in ghosts, you can say: “Non, je n’y crois pas, et toi ?” (No, I don’t believe it, and you?).

But if you do believe it, you can say: “Oui, j’y crois“. Since there is no more negation, we deleted ” n’ ” and “pas“.

Fun fact

Because we are lazy, we even have a shorter way to say that, and it’s: “J’y crois pas“.

But wait, I just told you that “Je n’y” is the negative form and “J’y” the positive form, so why use the positive one to express something negative?!

Once again, we are lazy so we consider that having “pas” after the verb is a solid enough proof that we are using a negation. So we just skip saying ” n’ ” to save us one syllab.

Replacing “Je n’y” by “J’y” is something you will find often, especially when French people talk. Another example: “J’y vais pas” instead of ‘Je n’y vais pas” (I am not going).

Synonyms and similarities

  • Je ne crois pas à ça. (“I don’t believe in that“)
  • J’arrive pas à y croire. (“I can’t believe it“)
  • J’y crois pas. (“I don’t believe it“)

Dialogue example

Audio dialogue by French natives

Dialogue audio

Dialogue transcription

” Tu crois aux fantômes ? “
” Do you believe in ghosts? “
” Non, je n’y crois pas. Et toi ? “
” No, I don’t believe in it. And you? “
” Oui, moi j’y crois “
” Yes, I do “
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