Needless to say

Can someone please explain the phrase “needless to say” with a simple sentence.
Can i also ask if the above stated phrase is used as comparing tool to speak of some activity in the past.

thank you



Hello Purley,

“Needless to say” means “It is not necessary to say that”. It introduces material which may already be familiar to those present, or which might be easily inferred or assumed. Its purpose is to draw attention to the material, for the purpose of reassurance, humour, etc., or as a polite reminder.

  1. Needless to say, we’ll let you know what’s happening as soon as we know ourselves.

– reassurance.

  1. I was meant to meet Quentin for a drink last night. Needless to say, he didn’t turn up on time.

– humour: the speaker assumes that the addressee shares his knowledge of Quentin’s poor time-keeping.

  1. Needless to say, DNA is a complex molecule.

– polite reminder: without “needless to say”, it might sound as if the addressee didn’t know that DNA is a complex molecule.

Best wishes,


To me it often carries a meaning of “obviously”.

A veiled “obviously”, perhaps.


Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.