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In English, I like to add on certain modifiers when giving people information, so as to remind them that the information is not guaranteed to be true. Examples include:

  • "In my opinion,..."
  • "...but that's just my opinion."
  • "So far as I know..."
  • "Last I checked..."
  • "Maybe it's just me."
  • "I could be wrong."
  • "I'm pretty sure, but not positive..."

Many of these seem sort of English-particular to me, and I feel like if I translate them literally they may be unusual statements in French. What are some casual French phrases expressing uncertainty?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

You aren't short of options in French either, here are a bunch that come to my mind. I'm sure others will contribute many more:

  • Pour moi, …
  • En ce qui me concerne, …
  • Ce que j'en dis, c'est que…
  • Je me trompe/plante peut-être, mais…
  • Il me semble que…
  • À mon avis…
  • De ce que j'en sais, …
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Il y a aussi le paradoxal "Sans doute..." – mouviciel May 29 '12 at 7:32
Et aussi « D'après moi... » – Stamm May 29 '12 at 10:05

I would add "Pour autant que je sache" to the possible equivalents of "As far as I know". Some people could opt to omit the "pour", although to me it sounds a bit more formal.

As far as I know, the 64-bit version is not yet available.

Pour autant que je sache, la version 64-bits n'est pas encore disponible.

My life, as far as I know, is far from over !

Ma vie, autant que je sache, est loin d'être terminée !

There's also a related form of "il me semble que", which is "semble-t-il". It can be thought more or less as a translation of "it seems".

Few people, it seems, are brave enough to...

Peu de gens, semble-t-il, sont suffisamment courageux pour...

I also personally use it to begin sentences :

It seems that they already got married.

Semble-t-il qu'ils se soient déjà marriés.

In this case, it is a bit more detached than "Il me semble que" : it puts on emphasis on the fact and enounces it as more of a general "truth" rather than your personal knowledge.

There's also a last one which I am particularly fond of, and which seems quite old, and that is "m'est avis que". It is a bit familiar so use it as an oral-only construction.

In my opinion, the facebook stock is grossly overvalued.

M'est avis que les actions facebook sont largement surévaluées.

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Some more :

  • "Moi, je dirais que..." or just "Je dirais que..."
  • "Si tu veux mon avis, ..." / "Si vous voulez mon avis, ..."

And the very casual (made famous by Coluche if I'm not wrong)

  • "Moi, je dis ça, je dis rien, mais..."
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