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When I studied French I was learnt that the expression "it goes without saying" is conveyed by "il va sans dire". Dictionaries affirme this. So for

Of course, it goes without saying that you'll be paid for the extra hours you work.

I would say

Bien entendu, il va sans dire que vous serez rémunéré pour les heures supplémentaires que vous faites.

But I have yet to hear a native speaker to use "il va sans dire (que)" in colloquial speech. Is this expression used in France at all? Is it considered an anglicism or outdated? What other ways exist to express a similar idea (i.e. something is obvious)?

  • imo, to my spirit that expression fit well if used from a majordome or someone with highly manner, but as you state France I will not answer :) – yagmoth555 Oct 1 at 0:19
  • You would not say "bien entendu, il va sans dre que, etc.": "bien entendu" and "il va sans dire" express the same idea and are therefore redundant: choose one or the other, but not both. – Greg Oct 1 at 4:08
  • When I went to Paris, I naïvely remarked to a restaurateur, "Paris c'est vraiment belle!" He shrugged: "C'est connu." – Luke Sawczak Oct 12 at 16:46
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Il va sans dire belongs to a rather formal level of speech, that is probably the reason why you have not come across it yet in day-day-interactions with native speakers. More frequent turns of phrase would use évidemment, c'est évident, bien entendu, cela va de soi, etc.

  • Évidement/c'est évident ne sont pas strictement synonymes de Il/ça va s'en dire/il/ça va de soi. Il y a des cas où on peut avoir besoin d'utiliser « Bien évidemment, il va sans dire ... ». Nothing formal about il va sans dire, true I don't use it everyday but to my mind "formal" is something else. – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Oct 1 at 7:50
  • As “colloquial” language (which I agree with), isn't it rather some INFORMAL level of speech? – dralpuop Oct 1 at 17:32
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Il va sans dire (or Cela va sans dire which I personally prefer) means It is implicit, There is no need to say it.

  • Mais... ça va quand même mieux en le disant... ;-) – aCOSwt Oct 1 at 17:27
  • “ça va quand même mieux en le disant” is a joke — I am not sure this remark helps the asker. – dralpuop Oct 1 at 17:38
  • @dralpuop: not always a joke. It is sometimes used to emphasize and insist that what follows next is important. I am not sure that Talleyrand was joking when he used it. – Taladris Oct 13 at 1:29

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