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  1. #1
    Roodie is offline Newbie
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    Default Did you know... vs Have you ever known...

    Hi all,

    I have a student who is actually arguing with me that the latter is also correct when using it in the following example:

    'Have you ever known that Russia is the largest country in the world'

    Now as a native speaker this sentence sounds awkward and unnatural to me but I've been racking my brain and I can't think of any rules that support the fact that " Did you know..." would be more appropriate other than the fact that it's used more widely in this way.

    Am I wrong?. If you could provide a solid explanation and perhaps some links to help back me up I would be ever so greatful.

    Thank you :)

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Did you know... vs Have you ever known...

    In dialogues such as the following, the present perfect is not impossible:

    A: Mary has left me. I seem to have forgotten how to treat women properly.
    B: Did you ever know/have you ever known how to treat women properly?

    A. I don't believe that my country is a true democracy any more.
    B. Have you ever believed/did you ever believe it was a true deocracy?

    I think your student's sentence would be possible with 'believed' . One of the reasons for rejecting it in is present form is that you cannot 'know' a fact for a time and then 'not know' iit. You can forget it, but that is not the same as not knowing it. For this reason, I believe that the past simple form 'Did you ever know that Russia was ..' is also highly unlikely. In my first example, 'knowing how to behave' implies not only the knowledge, but putting it into practice.

    'Have you ever known him to behave well' is possible, but 'know' here has a different shade of meaning.

  3. #3
    Roodie is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Did you know... vs Have you ever known...

    Thanks so much for the reply. That's exactly what I thought:

    "One of the reasons for rejecting it in its present form is that you cannot 'know' a fact for a time and then 'not know' it".

    However it is correct to say:

    Have you ever known a person who talks alot?
    Have you ever known someone who...?

    I think it can apply to people but not facts. It think there is a difference in meaning of the word 'know' in the following examples:

    Have you ever known someone who loves to talk?
    Have you ever known that Russia is the biggest country in Europe?

    I'm not entirely sure. Knowing a person is different to knowing a fact. What do you think?

    I've been thinking about this so deeply that I'm actually starting to lose my grasp on English and I'm even starting to question the form 'Did you know'... should it not be 'Do you know' if we're to apply the correct grammar rules of present simple.

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