Everything about the French proverb "Qui vivra verra"

Ready to find out all the things you want to know about the basic saying “Qui vivra verra”?

To be more precise, this includes a complete explanation of what it is and how you can use it in everyday life with an audio example. As well as the useful things we added like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, literal meaning and more!

Oh and you will find more sayings tutorials like this one on this page plus the list of all our French words pages on this page. Happy learning!

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English translation


Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does qui vivra verra mean?


  • Qui → Who
  • Vivra → Will live (future tense of verb “Vivre“) 
  • Verra → Will see (Future tense of verb “Voir“)

It means that even if the future is uncertain, those who survive will discover the outcomes. That no matter how hard we try to predict the future, only time will tell what it is made of.

This proverb is teaching us to be patient and to not lose our time trying to predict the unpredictable, because we will discover it anyway by staying safe.

By the way, English language has a very similar proverb which is “Time will tell“.

How to use

You can use it as a friendly reminder when someone is anxious about the future, lost in complex forecasts or even so impatient that he/she is not enjoying the moment.

And don’t worry: “Qui vivra verra” is very famous in French-speaking countries, so have no doubts that people will understand immediately. 

Fun stuff

Bonus: it sounds really good and looks awesome on tattoos.

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Les secrets de la tour Eiffel
The secrets of the Eiffel Tower
Vous connaissez certainement déjà la Tour Eiffel…
You certainly already know the Eiffel Tower…
Mais connaissez-vous vraiment tous ses secrets ?
But do you really know all its secrets?
Pour commencer, la Tour Eiffel est le monument le plus visité au monde.
To start, the Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world.
En France, nous l’appelons aussi : “La dame de fer”.
In France, we also call it: “The lady of iron”.
Elle a été construite comme l’une des principales expositions de la foire mondiale de 1889.
It was built as one of the main exhibitions of the 1889 World’s Fair.
Au tout début, elle était très critiquée par des artistes et des intellectuels français.
At the very beginning, it was highly criticized by French artists and intellectuals.
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