• Exciting news! With our new Ad-Free Premium Subscription you can enjoy a distraction-free browsing experience while supporting our site's growth. Without ads, you have less distractions and enjoy faster page load times. Upgrade is optional. Find out more here, and enjoy ad-free learning with us!

[Grammar] I didn't know vs I don't know

Status
Not open for further replies.

LiuJing

Member
Joined
May 30, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
--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.
 

tedtmc

Key Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Malaysia
Current Location
Malaysia
--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
 

Heterological

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Member Type
English Teacher
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!
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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?)
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
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?"
 

LiuJing

Member
Joined
May 30, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
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.
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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).
 

euncu

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
Turkish
Home Country
Turkey
Current Location
Turkey
***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".
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top