I often use and here an expression that goes something along the lines of "who is it for us to say that ..."

But it looks like I must have picked it up wrong, because that is definitely not correct English.

Doing a Google search with my phrase only gives one result:

We know fundamentally that not everyone can live in Jackson. It’s physically and virtually impossible. But, at the same time, who is it for us to say who should and shouldn’t live here?

Can someone tell me what the actual expression is?

Edit: I think it might be "who are we to say that ...", but I do still recall a form that has "is it for us to say" in it.

  • youtu.be/b7xyAM7uF6I
    – Hot Licks
    May 4, 2022 at 21:02
  • 4
    So this is just a question for how the idea is specifically worded? eg "It's not for me to say." or "Who am I to say?" or some very slight variation? Must it also be 'we' rather than 'I'?
    – Mitch
    May 4, 2022 at 21:11
  • @Mitch Yes, but I remember the variation I had in mind having "is it for us" in it (but I could be mistaken). May 4, 2022 at 21:40
  • Now , when half of the people in that country are refugees , is it for us to say we continue to give military aid and impose on these people further death and starvation and human misery? google.com/…
    – user 66974
    May 4, 2022 at 21:46
  • Nor is it for us to say that , in respect of union shop agreements , the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act are preferable to the provisions of the Railway Labor Act , or vice versa. books.google.it/…
    – user 66974
    May 4, 2022 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


Whatever its formulation, it's a common expression. Is it for us to say . . .? Nor is it for us to say . . .

These are the results from Google NGram "not for * to say"

not for me to say

not for us to say

not for him to say

not for you to say

not for them to say

not for man to say

not for her to say

not for me to say

not for courts to say

not for anyone to say

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