I want a phrase that says that a person will know about something only after it happens.

"You wouldn't know until it has happened" : Is this a correct usage? I think it's probably wrong. Can someone please help me correct the sentence?

  • 2
    Strictly, You wouldn't know until it had happened OR You won't know until it has happened. Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


That sentence is correct and natural, but you could also say "You won't know about it....".

"Won't" expresses the basic fact. "You will only know after it happens". Using "wouldn't" is a kind of hypothetical "You would know about it if it had happened"

  • What about "You can't know it until it has happened." I never see such a sentence in English, so it is unidiomatic, but I wonder whether there is any situation where we can use "You can't know it."
    – Yunus
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 10:38

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