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You can't win them all.

Meaning: Something you can say after you, or someone else, loses a contest or fails to achieve something (said to make losing seem not so bad).

For example:

  • After Terry had lost the match, his wife said, "Never mind, dear. You can't win them all."

  • When it was clear that we hadn't won the contract, I tried to hide my disappointment by saying, "Oh well. You can't win 'em all."

Note: This informal idiom is often pronounced as "You can't win 'em all", with the "th" in "them" not voiced.

Quick Quiz:

I looked at my tennis partner and said, "You can't win 'em all"
  1. before we'd lost our match
  2. after we'd lost our match
  3. after we'd won our match

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