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    #1

    don't know if most of them...

    1) I am not sure that a lot of them know what is going on.
    2) I don't know if a lot of them know what is going on.

    3) I am not sure that most of them know what is going on.

    4) I don't know if most of them know what is going on.


    Could these sentences be used if I have specific people in mind and don't know if they know what is going on?

    As far as a lot of them are concerned, I don't know if they know what is going on. I don't know if Jack, Tom, Sally, Harry, Jane etc. know what is going on and those people constitute 'a lot of them'/'most of them'.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: don't know if most of them...

    Perhaps:

    I am not sure they know what is going on.

    I am not sure about your examples, but additional context might help.

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    #3

    Re: don't know if most of them...

    Thank you very much, Tarheel,

    I am going to try. I am going to change the sentences, but the structure will be the same.


    A) I am not sure that most of these kids are over eighteen. I am talking about the seven boys in the back of the line and these four girls in the front. The five in the middle are obviously major.



    B) I don't know if most of these kids are over eighteen. I am talking about the seven boys in the back of the line and these four girls in the front. The five in the middle are obviously major.



    Here the question is not whether most of the kids are over eighteen. The problem is that as regards most of them, the speaker has doubts. He has specific kids in mind.

    He is not answering the question: 'Are most of these kids over eighteen?' (by saying he is not sure whether they are or not)
    He is saying that as far as most of them are concerned, he does not know.


    Am I making any sense?



    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: don't know if most of them...

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    Thank you very much, Tarheel,

    I am going to try. I am going to change the sentences, but the structure will be the same.


    A) I am not sure that most of these kids are over eighteen. I am talking about the seven boys in the back of the line and these four girls in the front. The five in the middle are obviously major.



    B) I don't know if most of these kids are over eighteen. I am talking about the seven boys in the back of the line and these four girls in the front. The five in the middle are obviously major.
    I think what you want there is "over eighteen" instead of "major". With that change the sentences makes sense

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: don't know if most of them...

    It is now perfectly clear.

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