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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Simple English Grammer doubts

    Sentence 1: I knew he was there, for I had seen him come.
    Q. Why are we using "for" in the above sentence? Can we say the above sentence without using "for" like "I knew he was there, I had seen him come"? Or is it wrong to say that way?
    Q. What is the meaning of "for" in the above sentence?
    Q. Can we say like "I have seen him come" or "I saw him come", instead of "I had seen him come" in the above sentence?

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Simple English Grammer doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by hariharakumar View Post
    "I knew he was there, I had seen him come"
    It is a comma splice, so it is wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by hariharakumar View Post
    What is the meaning of "for" in the above sentence?
    I take it to mean 'because'.

    Quote Originally Posted by hariharakumar View Post
    Can we say like "I have seen him come" or "I saw him come", instead of "I had seen him come" in the above sentence?
    The past perfect should be used because it happened before 'I knew he was there'.

    Not a teacher.

  3. teechar's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Simple English Grammer doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by hariharakumar View Post
    Why are we using "for" in the above sentence?
    In your sentence "for" means "because."

    Quote Originally Posted by hariharakumar View Post
    Can we say the above sentence without using "for" like "I knew he was there, I had seen him come"?
    You can say: "I had seen him come (in), so I knew he was there."

    Quote Originally Posted by hariharakumar View Post
    Can we say like "I have seen him come" or "I saw him come", instead of "I had seen him come", in the above sentence?
    The past simple (saw him come) can work but not the present perfect (have seen).

    Note that you could also use "come in" or "arrive" in your sentence instead of "come."

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    #4

    Re: Simple English Grammer doubts

    hariharakumar, please note that a better title would have been I knew he was there, for I had seen him come.

    Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'

    Please note the correct spelling of 'grammar'.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Simple English Grammer doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    The past simple (saw him come) can work
    Is this because the context has made it clear that 'saw him come' must have happened before 'knew he was there'?

  5. teechar's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Simple English Grammer doubts

    The past simple can work because both are finished past actions which could have happened at roughly the same time.

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Simple English Grammer doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    Is this because the context has made it clear that 'saw him come' must have happened before 'knew he was there'?
    Yes
    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.

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    #8

    Re: Simple English Grammer doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by hariharakumar View Post
    Q. What is the meaning of "for" in the above sentence?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Hariharakumar:

    I just thought that you would like to know that in 2015 there are still a few speakers who feel that there is a difference between "for" and "because."

    I personally try to observe the difference (especially in writing), but I am sure that many times I use "because" when I should use "for" and vice versa.

    1. Mr. Michael Swan's Practical English Usage (1995 edition) tells us:

    a. "For" introduces new information, but suggests that the reason is an afterthought. [my emphasis]


    i. His example: "I decided to stop and have lunch -- for I was feeling hungry."

    2. The explanation that I like best comes from Pence & Emery's A Grammar of Present-Day English (1947 and 1963).

    a. They tell us that sometimes "for" is about the same as "because,"

    i. "I left early, for I had a long drive before me."

    b. On the other hand, they say that sometimes "for" "gives evidence for the truth of a preceding sentence."

    i. Their example: "Someone must have entered our house during our absence, for the lock on the front door has been broken."

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