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My neighbour's little son (they are from UK) asked me for something, saying that he wants it and hence he will get. I realized I do not know how to say that correctly (for the first one I used inversion)

Not always gets the person what he wants.


It is not that everytime you wants something you will get it.

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closed as general reference by Matt E. Эллен, FumbleFingers, kiamlaluno, tchrist, Mitch Sep 7 '12 at 17:00

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'm fairly sure the first sentence uses a form frequently used in proverbs. Does it originate from old English? – SF. Jul 20 '12 at 10:46

I would say

We don't always get what we want.

or, if I were feeling formal, I might say

One doesn't always get what one wants.

I believe that the latter may be ungrammatical in American English, but it's OK in other dialects.

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But if you try, sometimes... – Matt E. Эллен Jul 20 '12 at 8:06
Yes, the Rolling Stones answered this question in 1969. youtube.com/watch?v=XIX0ZDqDljA – Tolerance72 Jul 20 '12 at 8:08
Ungrammatical? Huh?? – tchrist Jul 22 '12 at 11:20
I thought the right form in American English was "one doesn't always get what he wants". But I wasn't sure, which is why I said "may be". – user16269 Jul 22 '12 at 11:34
No, "one doesn't always get what one wants" is perfectly fine in American English. While "he" would have been fine thirty years ago, many people wouldn't use "he" nowadays because it's not gender neutral, and "one doesn't always get what they want" sounds wrong to me (despite the fact that I use the singular "they" often). – Peter Shor Jul 22 '12 at 11:54

No inversion is required. We don't always get what we want or You don't always get what you want is all you need.

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