Saying “non lo so” is absolutely correct grammatically speaking, but let’s face it: using this sentence all the time is not the best way to express yourself… That’s why we’ve selected some alternatives to avoid saying “non lo so”!
All the ways to say “NON LO SO” in Italian
Obviously there are so many different ways of saying “non lo so”, but we have chosen some of the most used ones in Italy. Some are ironic, others creative, and some just untranslatable!
Non ne ho idea (I have no idea)
To reinforce this expression, to underline that we really do not know something, we can also say “non ne ho la più vaga idea”, “non ne ho la più pallida idea” oppure “non ne ho la minima idea” (something like: “I don’t have the vaguest/slightest idea/clue”).
Non ne sono sicuro/a (I’m not sure)
Or also: “non ne sono certo/a”.
This is another very popular expression used as an alternative to “non lo so”, as we already explained in a lesson not so long ago.
Magari lo sapessi! (If I only knew!)
Or also: “a saperlo!” (Knowing that!), the latter slightly more informal.
Mi piacerebbe saperlo! (I wish I knew!)
Se lo sapessi, te lo direi! (If I knew, I’d tell you!)
This alternative uses the periodo ipotetico (or “if clauses“) that, as you might remember, we’ve already studied!
Ma che ne so! (But what do I know!)
Also this expression is used very often!
Have you noticed that in three of the listed expressions we use the “ne“? If you are wondering what it stands for, it refers to what we don’t know! If you want to learn more about it, we have a detailed lesson about the particle NE!
Let’s see if you’ve mastered the contents of this class. Have a go at completing the exercises!