When I studied French I was taught that the expression "it goes without saying" is conveyed by "il va sans dire". Dictionaries confirm 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 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 Is it considered an anglicism or outdated?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. that 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, 2019 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, 2019 at 4:08
  • 2
    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, 2019 at 16:46

2 Answers 2


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.
    – None
    Oct 1, 2019 at 7:50
  • As “colloquial” language (which I agree with), isn't it rather some INFORMAL level of speech?
    – ftpo
    Oct 1, 2019 at 17:32
  • Une réponse qui coule de source
    – user20684
    Dec 2, 2022 at 20:46

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... ;-)
    – MC68020
    Oct 1, 2019 at 17:27
  • “ça va quand même mieux en le disant” is a joke — I am not sure this remark helps the asker.
    – ftpo
    Oct 1, 2019 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, 2019 at 1:29

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