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Thread: knew/had known

  1. #1
    kohyoongliat is offline Senior Member
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    knew/had known

    Ever since their son was very young, his parents knew/had known he was very intelligent.

    Can I use either word?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: knew/had known

    Quote Originally Posted by kohyoongliat View Post
    Ever since their son was very young, his parents knew/had known he was very intelligent.
    I wouldn't use either. The logical form to use with "since" is present perfect: Ever since their son was very young, his parents have known he is very intelligent. "Had known" is reporting a state that existed in the past. "Knew" is the simple past and should not be used to imply an ongoing state.

  3. #3
    Harry Smith's Avatar
    Harry Smith is offline Key Member
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    Re: knew/had known

    Quote Originally Posted by kohyoongliat View Post
    Ever since their son was very young, his parents knew/had known he was very intelligent.

    Can I use either word?

    Many thanks.
    Here you can use "knew", there is no need to use:had known.

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: knew/had known

    '...had known he was...' is fine. "Ever since their son was very young, his parents had known he was very intelligent. His victory over a Grand Master when he was only 14 proved it."

    b

  5. #5
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Re: knew/had known

    If this is happening in the present, then I agree with Harry.

    In case we're dealing with reported speech (the action is set in the past), you can use 'had known.' I need more context.

    Ex.:
    Ever since he was born, his parents had known he was very intelligent. However, they also knew that his intelligence made up for the lack of other qualities. (it's in the past)
    Last edited by bianca; 18-Jun-2007 at 17:49.

  6. #6
    2006 is offline Banned
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    my view

    Ever since their son was very young, his parents knew he was very intelligent. (past situation)

    Ever since their son was very young, his parents have known he is very intelligent. (present situation)

    I also would not use "had known" here, as simple past tense is all that is needed.
    Last edited by 2006; 19-Jun-2007 at 01:59.

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