The French sentence "J'y crois pas" explained

On this page, we are going to explain you everything you need to know about the basic phrase “J’y crois pas”.

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

In case you are interested, you can also find our others phrases explained on this page and the ultimate list of all our French words guides on this page. Enjoy!

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English translation

Pronunciation example

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does j'y crois pas mean?

Definition

“J’y crois pas” or “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, j’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“.

Funny stuff

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“)
  • Je n’y crois pas. (“I don’t believe it“)

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this sentence in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Des opinions différentes
Different opinions
___
Brigitte a toujours aimé l’ésotérisme, l’astrologie et le paranormal.
Brigitte always loved esotericism, astrology and the paranormal.
Elle a toujours pensé que l’humanité ignorait beaucoup de choses…
She always thought that humanity ignore many things…
D’ailleurs, elle se disputait souvent avec son frère Nicolas à ce sujet..
By the way, she often argued with her brother Nicolas about this topic.
Pierre était tout le contraire de Brigitte…
Pierre was the opposite of Brigitte…
Il croyait seulement les faits rationnels et logiques.
He believed only on rational and logical facts.
Pour lui, par exemple, l’astrologie n’avait aucun sens.
For him, for example, astrology made no sense.
Un jour, Brigitte lui demanda :
One day, Brigitte asked him:
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