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I'm in a situation where I meet someone new, but who I already knew by someone telling me about her. So I guess it must be her, due to what she is telling me, but I'm not sure since I don't know her face. When she says her name, I want to respond with something like "Ah, that's what I thought! I've heard of you."

Can I say: "Je l'aurais pensé !" or should I use another tense? Or is it better to use "cru"? Or is there another expression which is more common and natural?

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3 Answers 3

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So you're thinking something, but you are uncertain, and then it's confirmed and you want to say that you guessed it. In such situations, people often say "C'est ce que je pensais" ("That's what I thought") or "Je m'en doutais" ("I suspected as much") or similar things.

"Je l'aurais pensé/cru" has this connotation of something that is false but that you would have been unsurprised to learn was true, mostly because it's conditional as opposed to the above's past. It would in fact almost always have that meaning. As an example:

Ah, ils ne forment pas un couple? Je l'aurais pourtant cru!

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I was under the impression that was meaning rather than the connotation-- I think it would be wrong to say Je l'aurais pensé in this context...correct me if I'm wrong. –  Aerovistae May 22 '13 at 17:27
    
@Aerovistae I would say you are correct, I don't really have hard proof of it, but I'll still edit it in. –  Kareen May 22 '13 at 21:28
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@Zistoloen J'utilise l'espacement canadien, qui est tout aussi valide que l'espacement français. Je vous prierais de ne pas modifier un passage correct dans une variante du français pour le conformer à une autre variante. Voir la réponse méta sur la normalisation du site. –  Kareen May 22 '13 at 21:37
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Une très fréquente variation sur celui qui est à mon sens le plus couramment employé C'est ce que je pensais! serait cet ajout : C'est bien ce que je pensais! –  Romain VALERI May 23 '13 at 9:07
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As a complement to Kareen's answer, you could also use:

  • Je le savais (I knew it)

  • J'en étais sûr (I was sure about it)

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Je m'avais imaginé ?? –  Sironsse May 22 '13 at 16:32
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"Je m'avais imaginé" is not correct. In any case, it should be "Je l'avais imaginé", but that wouldn't really fit the situation neither... –  Alexis Pigeon May 22 '13 at 20:41
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"Je le savais" pronounced "Je l'savais!" is the most common phrase in this kind of situation, by far. –  oli May 23 '13 at 2:19
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Another one:

Je l'aurais parié !

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