“Little Does He Know” – Meaning & Correct Usage (+Examples)

Well-known idiomatic expressions such as “little does he know” make statements more interesting. In this article, we will be discussing what this particular idiomatic expression means (and what it doesn’t), how to use it in a sentence, and phrases that are synonymous with it.

What Does “Little Does He Know” Mean?

“Little does he know” is an idiomatic expression that means that a person referred to as “he” does not know all the details about a particular situation. The phrase is often followed by a statement of the information that the person lacks.

little does he know

You may probably encounter the phrase “little does he know” in conversations or while reading. It is an expression that means a person does not know all the details about a particular situation.

It is often preceded by what the person thinks he knows, followed by a statement of the information that the person lacks, prefaced by the word “that”:

  • [What the person thinks], but/however/”;”/”.” Little does he know that [statement of the information].

This person can be a “he” or a “she”. It can also be used to refer to a group of people, referred to as “they”:

  • Little does he know
  • Little does she know
  • Little do they know

When it is in the form “little does he know”, it is in the simple present tense. When it is in the past tense, it takes the following form:

  • Little did he/she/they know
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Does “Little Does He Know” Mean “He Knew Nothing at All”?

No, the phrase “little does he know” does not mean “he knew nothing at all”. The difference is that the former phrase means that the person lacks some details about a particular situation, while the latter phrase is more of an observation of the person’s overall intellect.

The phrases “little does he know” and “he knew nothing at all” are similar in that the person being talked about (“he”) is lacking in knowledge. However, “little does he know” does not exactly mean “he knew nothing at all”.

The key difference here is the phrase “nothing at all”. This implies absolute ignorance. In other words, he “did not know anything”.

“Little does he know” on the other hand, means that the person lacks some details about a particular situation. He knows a little bit about it, he just doesn’t have all the information. Because of this, he has misconstrued the situation.

Another difference between the two is that “little does he know” is in the present tense, while “he knew nothing at all” is in the past tense.

How to Use “Little Does He Know” In A Sentence

The idiomatic expression “little does he know” cannot stand on its own as a statement, it needs to form a part of a longer sentence.

Below are some examples of how to use the expression “little does he know” in a sentence:

  1. He thinks his children are perfect little angels, but little does he know that they sneak into his room at night when he is away.
  2. David thinks he doesn’t have a chance with Nancy, but little does he know that she thinks about him every night as well.
  3. John thinks that he’s the best wrestler in town just because he always beats his opponents; little does he know, however, that his opponents were bribed to take it easy on him.
  4. Kevin thinks that the strange man who spends Christmas with them every year is his mother’s distant cousin, but little does he know that the man is actually his father.
  5. Ryan believes that his parents perished in a plane crash when he was a little boy. Little does he know that his parents faked their own death to protect him from their enemies.
  6. Harvey believes that his son was kidnapped and eventually murdered by his kidnappers; little does he know that the kidnappers raised his son to assassinate his father.
  7. Jordan believes that his daughter is going to prom with her boyfriend; little does he know, however, that his daughter is actually going to the prom with her girlfriend.

“Little Does He Know” – Synonyms

Below are phrases that are synonymous to “little does he know”:

  • Little does he realize
  • He has no idea
  • He doesn’t know
  • He isn’t aware
  • He doesn’t understand

Final Thoughts

When you want to say that a male person (who uses the pronoun “he”) does not know all the details about a particular situation, you can use the idiomatic expression “little does he know”. You can then follow the phrase up with the information that the person lacks.

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