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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Apr 2010
    • Posts: 154
    #1

    What's the difference?

    Hello, teachers!

    Would you take a look at the following?

    1. How do you know that?
    2. How did you know that?

    According to some English-Japanese dictionaries, both seem to mean the same.
    Is there any (subtle) difference between the two?

    Thank you in advance for your help on this.

    yam.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #2

    Re: What's the difference?

    It depends on the context.

    If someone says, "I knew that she had been to Japan", then I can ask only, "How did you know that?"

    In the following dialogue, either form is possible.

    A: My son is in the capital of Mongolia - I forget the name of the place.
    B: It's Ulan Bator.
    A: How did/do you know that?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Apr 2010
    • Posts: 154
    #3

    Re: What's the difference?

    Thank you again for answering another question of mine, Mr. 5jj.
    So, you mean the following?

    Which word, "do" or "did," the speaker of this question sentence uses depends on when the person who is asked a question gets to know something.

    Thank you very much in advance for your further help on this.

    yam

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