grammatical expression: when pigs fly


Today’s expression is “when pigs fly”, and it is used when we want to say that something is never going to happen or that we have no intention at all of doing something. For example:

A: When are you going to finally go out with me?

B: When pigs fly! I’m never going to be your girlfriend!


A: I think you should vote for Bill Richards.

B: I’ll vote for him when pigs fly. I hate that guy!


A: My husband made dinner for me last night. It was so romantic.

B: Unfortunately, my husband will do that for me when pigs fly. I wish my husband were more like yours.

This expression means “never” because pigs will never be able to fly. So if someone asks you when you will do something and you know you will never do it, this expression can be very useful. However, you should be aware that it’s a little strong when said directly to a person asking you a question. In the first example, person B is not being polite because she doesn’t like the guy who is asking her for a date and she wants him to leave her alone.


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