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I heard in an advertisement:

知らないと思うけど ...

What does this mean? Is it something like 'Did you know that ...' or 'You may not know this but, ...'

Under what circumstances is saying this acceptable? I mean, would you say this to your supervisor? Or it depends on the circumstances?

Is it used commonly outside of advertisements? If not, why? And what are the alternatives to convey this meaning?

  • YeAh, i misheard. So what does it mean? – cgo Nov 9 '15 at 18:24
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    It probably was 知らないと思うけど... – Chocolate Nov 9 '15 at 18:36
  • @choco Oh yeah, that's definitely more likely. – senshin Nov 9 '15 at 19:02
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    It seems like you misheard it and it was probably what @choco said it was. It means, "You probably don't know this but..." (used a lot in TV advertisements). You wouldn't say it to your supervisor, in fact I don't think I have properly heard it said this way outside of TV adverts and telling a friend something (In which case 実は。。。 is normally used). – The Wandering Coder Nov 10 '15 at 4:20
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It means, "You probably don't know this but..." (used a lot in TV advertisements).

You wouldn't say it to your supervisor, in fact I don't think I have properly heard it said this way outside of TV adverts and telling a friend something, in which case 実は... (or one of the examples at the bottom of this answer), are normally used.

Also, it isn't normally used outside of most advertisements because in some contexts it can portray a sense of the listener being out of the loop and thus not included from the goings on in the topic (which in terms of an impersonal advertisement is exactly what the situation is assumed to be).

It may also be seen as attempting to insult the listeners intelligence usually by stating obvious facts (hence why you shouldn't use it with your supervisor).

i.e あなたは知らないと思うけど、日本は島国だよ。

You probably don't know this, but Japan is an island nation.

Saying that, it does still appear in everyday conversation.

Here are some examples of its use.

[TV Shopping Channel] (Note: Not an actual advertisement. Actual company names have been changed)

普通の掃除機ではカーペットからすべての毛玉などを取れないよね?君はまだ知らないと思うけど、ダイサンの新製品はサイクルテクノロジーを搭載!このサイクルテクノロジーがもっと細かいところまで届いて...

Your normal Vacuum cleaner just can't get all of the dust and things in your carpet can it? You probably didn't know this but Daisan's new products have Cycle Technology built in! Cycle technology can reach even deeper than a conventional Vacuum! ...

[Talking with friends]

A:とも君は最近会ってないね?何してるんだろう?

B:ええ?あなたは知らないと思うけど、彼は外国人と結婚して、アメリカに引っ越したよ。

A: I haven't met Tomo in a while. I wonder what he is up to?

B: Ee? You probably didn't know but he married a foreigner and moved to America.

* It is to note that when talking with friends, it is more common instead of あなた(など)は知らないと思うけど to use something more colloquial and with a somewhat surprised nuance.

i.e. ええ?知らないの? OR あなた知らないよね? OR 聞いてないの? etc.

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