In conversation with my colleagues, I just said the following:

Si vous y tenez vraiment, c'est pas moi qui vais vous en décourager. Mais je vous aurai prévenues !

Given the difference in tense between the English and French phrases, I wonder if I should have expressed the idea of "Don't say you weren't warned!" otherwise?

2 Answers 2


“Don't say you weren't warned!” steps into the future, when the predicted outcome is supposed to have happened. It basically states a likeliness of it happening. Here are some common ways of expressing this in French :

  • N’allez pas dire après que vous n’étiez pas prévenus !

  • A bit tougher, or used with kids, whose inexperience and disobedience commonly end up in injuries (and cries):
    N’allez pas pleurer que vous ne saviez pas !

On the other hand, “je vous aurai prévenues !” is only stating that from this moment, you are not taking responsibility for any possible unpleasant outcome, without clearly stating it will happen. English equivalents could be “I warned you!” or “Consider yourself warned!”.


That can be:

Ne dites pas que vous n'étiez pas prévenus (or 'avertis', 'alertés').

Ne dites pas que vous n'aviez pas été prévenus.

  • Hi. On another note: With the phrasing "vous (en) décourager/dissuader", I wonder if it is more common to drop "en"? Though it is tempting to include it, given the original construction "décourager/dissuader X de faire Y". Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 10:03
  • 1
    Hi @Alone-zee. Not sure to get the point of your comment, but, "en" is not mandatory. You can say "Si vous y tenez vraiment, c'est pas moi qui vais vous décourager" will be understood too. But formally the meaning is a bit different as "décourager quelqu'un" or "décourager quelqu'un de faire qq chose" is not exactly the same.
    – lemon
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 10:20
  • 1
    Just a note, using the "impératif" can be ambiguous, because it could be a current argument about something that was stated in the past. This is used informally, but it would be more correct to use a (longer) sentence such as "Vous ne viendrez pas me dire que vous n'étiez pas prévenues". However, I would argue that trying to match too closely the English idiom is not a good idea, and your "Je vous aurai prévenues" is already a very good fit.
    – To마SE
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 10:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.