7 Other Ways to Say “I Can’t Believe It”

Other Ways to Say I Can't Believe It

Think of all the times you might need to say “I can’t believe it” to your friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues. Naturally, you would want to express your astonishment when they share something unexpected or surprising, such as winning the lottery, getting engaged, or even witnessing a rare natural phenomenon… the list goes on.

Whether your friend just met a celebrity, your brother got a surprise promotion, or a colleague witnessed a meteor shower, it’s only natural to want to convey your amazement. While the phrase “I can’t believe it” is the most common way to express surprise, English offers many other alternatives to make your reactions more varied. Using these synonyms will surely add depth to your conversations.

In this article, we’ll explore other ways to say “I can’t believe it” in English using expressive and vivid words. Let’s dive in!

Other ways to say “I Can’t Believe It”

There is beauty in being able to express yourself. And the thing about widening your vocabulary is that it gives you a plethora of words to use to convey your feelings. Instead of saying “I can’t believe it” every time you hear shocking news, you could use a synonym, depending on the context and your relationship.

Expressions of Amazement

Our choice of words can vividly convey our feelings. Here are some other ways to say “I can’t believe it” in English:

1. You’re pulling my leg!

Example: “Did you really see a UFO? You’re pulling my leg!”

Meaning: This phrase suggests that someone might be joking or not telling the truth. It’s a light-hearted way to express disbelief.

Usage: Suitable for casual conversations, especially when you think someone might be exaggerating or joking.

2. Is this for real?

Example: “She won the jackpot? Is this for real?”

Meaning: This phrase questions the authenticity of what’s being said, indicating genuine surprise.

Usage: Perfect for situations where the news is so astonishing that it seems almost unreal.

3. You’ve got to be kidding me!

Example: “He proposed to her at the Eiffel Tower? You’ve got to be kidding me!”

Meaning: This is a way of expressing disbelief or shock, suggesting that the news is hard to believe.

Usage: Suitable for both casual and formal situations, especially when you’re taken by surprise.

4. No way!

Example: “They’re having twins? No way!”

Meaning: A short and direct way of expressing disbelief.

Usage: Perfect for informal settings and quick reactions to surprising news.

Expressions of Wonder

Sometimes, the news isn’t just surprising; it’s also wonderful. Here are phrases to convey that:

5. That’s incredible!

Example: “She finished the marathon in under 3 hours? That’s incredible!”

Meaning: This phrase emphasizes the impressiveness of the news.

Usage: Suitable for situations where the news is not just surprising but also commendable.

6. Mind-blowing!

Example: “The Northern Lights were visible from here last night? That’s mind-blowing!”

Meaning: Something so astonishing that it’s hard to comprehend.

Usage: Perfect for situations where the news or event is exceptionally remarkable.

7. That’s out of this world!

Example: “He built that treehouse all by himself? That’s out of this world!”

Meaning: This phrase suggests that something is so extraordinary that it seems almost supernatural.

Usage: Ideal for situations where the news or event is beyond ordinary.

7 Other Ways to Say I Can't Believe It Infographic

When to Use Different Expressions of Disbelief

The synonym you use should depend on the context and the nature of the news:

Casual settings: In informal conversations among friends and family, feel free to use more relaxed expressions like “No way!” and “You’re pulling my leg!”

Formal settings: In professional or formal environments, opt for expressions that are less colloquial, such as “Is this for real?” or “That’s incredible!”

Positive news: When the news is not just surprising but also positive, go for expressions that convey a wonder, like “That’s out of this world!” or “Mind-blowing!”

Neutral or negative news: In situations where the news is neutral or negative, it’s best to stick to general expressions of disbelief like “I can’t believe it” or “You’ve got to be kidding me!”


1. Are these expressions universally understood?

While many of these expressions are commonly understood in English-speaking countries, they might not be as familiar to non-native speakers. It’s always a good idea to gauge the familiarity of your audience before using idiomatic expressions.

2. Can I use these expressions in written form?

Absolutely! These expressions can be used both in spoken and written English. However, ensure that the context is appropriate, especially in formal writing.

3. Are there any cultural considerations when using these expressions?

Yes, some expressions might have different connotations in different cultures. For instance, “You’re pulling my leg” is a light-hearted way of expressing disbelief in many Western cultures, but it might be confusing to someone unfamiliar with the idiom. Always be mindful of cultural sensitivities.

4. Can I combine these expressions?

Certainly! You can combine expressions for added emphasis, e.g., “No way! You’ve got to be kidding me!” However, ensure that they flow naturally and don’t sound forced.


Expressing disbelief or astonishment is a natural human reaction to unexpected news. While “I can’t believe it” is a go-to phrase for many, there are numerous other ways to convey the same feeling. By expanding your vocabulary, you can add depth and variety to your reactions, making your conversations more engaging and expressive.

So the next time you’re taken by surprise, consider using expressions like “No way!” or “You’re pulling my leg!” to add a touch of flair to your response. And if you’re keen on further expanding your vocabulary and understanding of the English language, consider checking out resources like BBC Learning English or Cambridge English. These platforms offer a wealth of information to help you become more articulate and expressive in your conversations.

Categorized as Casual

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