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    #1

    by the time... knew or had known

    The following sentence comes from OXFORD ADVANCED LEARNER'S ENGLISH DICTIONARY, entry A:

    By the end of the week we knew the subject from A to Z.

    My question is: If we say 'By the end of the week we had known the subject from A to Z', does the sentence sound fine, odd or awful?

    Might I ask native English teachers to kindly help me with this question?

    Thank you very much in advance.

  1. #2

    Re: by the time... knew or had known

    By the end of the week we knew the subject from A to Z.
    This is best. Completed action. Good sentence.

    You can't use "had known" here. There's no reason to use any pluperfect tense here, and the reason you can't use "know" is complicated, and you probably don't need it right now. (You could look up "stative verbs.")

    If you really wanted a pluperfect here, this would be okay:
    By the end of the week we had mastered the subect from A to Z.

    regards
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    The following sentence comes from OXFORD ADVANCED LEARNER'S ENGLISH DICTIONARY, entry A:

    By the end of the week we knew the subject from A to Z.

    My question is: If we say 'By the end of the week we had known the subject from A to Z', does the sentence sound fine, odd or awful?

    Might I ask native English teachers to kindly help me with this question?

    Thank you very much in advance.

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