It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

I have been having a problem in interpreting "it... that...". the first sentence is relatively easier to understand but the second one comes hard to me. does it mean:

It's that you undoubtedly believe or think something is so, although that is not true ?

1 Answer 1


This could be paraphrased as:

"It is not what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It is what you know for sure that isn't true [that gets you into trouble]".

The author is saying that it is not dangerous to have a lack of knowledge. Instead, the author claims it is dangerous to think you know something, when in reality, you do not (or at least what you think you know is wrong).

Your paraphrased version looks like you understand it, but the "although that is not true" could mean something else.

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