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  1. #1
    LiuJing is offline Member
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    I didn't know vs I don't know

    --Do you know Slovenia is the smallest nation in the current FIFA World Cup Tournament?

    Answer 1--No, I don't.
    Answer 2--Really? I didn't know that.

    For the second answer, can ' I don't know that ' be applied in place of 'I didn't know that' ? Thank you.

  2. #2
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Re: I didn't know vs I don't know

    Quote Originally Posted by LiuJing View Post
    --Do you know Slovenia is the smallest nation in the current FIFA World Cup Tournament?

    Answer 1--No, I don't.
    Answer 2--Really? I didn't know that.

    For the second answer, can ' I don't know that ' be applied in place of 'I didn't know that' ? Thank you.
    No. I didn't know that (until now that I have been told).

    not a teacher

  3. #3
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    Re: I didn't know vs I don't know

    tedtmc has it right: "I didn't know" or "I didn't know that" is correct, because now you do know, since the person just told you!

  4. #4
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: I didn't know vs I don't know

    I find it a bit more natural to use "Did you know..." when you are giving a fact (you're providing the knowledge).

    I would use "Do you know..." when you are asking a genuine question. (Do you know what time the bus stops here? Do you know what time Mom said she was getting home?)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: I didn't know vs I don't know

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I find it a bit more natural to use "Did you know..." when you are giving a fact (you're providing the knowledge).

    I would use "Do you know..." when you are asking a genuine question. (Do you know what time the bus stops here? Do you know what time Mom said she was getting home?)
    I agree. With questions about general knowledge, they tend to start "Did you know...?" I take this to mean "Did you already know ... or is this new information for you?"

  6. #6
    LiuJing is offline Member
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    Re: I didn't know vs I don't know

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I find it a bit more natural to use "Did you know..." when you are giving a fact (you're providing the knowledge).

    I would use "Do you know..." when you are asking a genuine question. (Do you know what time the bus stops here? Do you know what time Mom said she was getting home?)

    Your notion of this is very informative. Thank you.
    Then, how do we reply to such an 'ingenuine' question?

    I can quite understand the negative answer to that, but is the positive reply "Yes, I did'' ? Thank you.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: I didn't know vs I don't know

    If someone comes to me with a new piece of news, or even an old, old fact, she can start with "Did you know..." and then tell me.

    If I did know, I could say "I know! Isn't that amazing!" or "I just heard!" or "Yes, I learned it in a great college course I took and found it fascinating!" (or "Yeah, but who cares?" although that would be rude).


    If I didn't, I could say "You're kidding!" (an expected response when there is "big news" to tell) or "Really? That's amazing!" or a milder "Huh. No, I didn't, but thanks for letting me know" (be careful, the last could sound sarcastic).
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
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    Re: I didn't know vs I don't know

    ***neither a teacher nor a native-speaker***

    One can be sarcastic by using "I didn't know that" but not by "I don't know that".

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