is 'If I knew you had known that he read the book? possible

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Hazar

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I want to know which sentense is correct. or, is there any diffent meanings?

1. If I knew you had known that he read the book, I would ~~.
2. If I knew you had known that he had read the book, I would ~~.

3. If I knew you knew that he read the book, I would ~~.
4. If I knew you knew that he had read the book, I would ~~.

5. If I knew you know that he read the book, I would ~~.
6. If I knew you know that he had read the book, I would ~~.

They are very complexing!!
 

David L.

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If I knew you had known that he read the book, I would ~~.
2. If I knew you had known that he had read the book, I would .:up:

3. If I knew you knew that he read the book, I would ~~.
4. If I knew you knew that he had read the book, I would ~~.:up:

5. If I knew you know that he read the book, I would ~~.
6. If I knew you know that he had read the book, I would ~~.

It's getting the logic of the time sequences sorted in your mind.
Take : If I knew you had known that he had read the book, I would (have)

If I knew : the 'knowing' part is sometime in the past. Let's say yesterday.

you had known : When we spoke yesterday, I found out that you already knew about (whatever the hell we are talking about 'knowing). You must have heard about it even earlier, say, the week before, so even further back in time. It is a completed action in the past.
So - so far, we have : past tense + something that happened even 'past-er' in time. We can indicate this sequence in time because past perfect puts something even further back in time, so we have past tense +past perfect tense.

that he had read the book,: again past perfect because the book must have been read by somebody earlier than any of this other taking place, the 'knowing 'and the knowing that you know' .
 

riverkid

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I want to know which sentense is correct. or, is there any different meanings?

1. If I knew you had known that he read the book, I would ~~.
2. If I knew you had known that he had read the book, I would ~~.

3. If I knew you knew that he read the book, I would ~~.
4. If I knew you knew that he had read the book, I would ~~.

5. If I knew you know that he read the book, I would ~~.
6. If I knew you know that he had read the book, I would ~~.

They are very [complexing] perplexing!!

These are very perplexing, Hazar, because they lack context. David provided one scenario, but I'd say that there are others.

Context is very important in determining meaning and I'd say that in theoretical contexts, it's even more important that we have a rich context.


I'm going to suggest, [with no particularly firm conviction right at this moment], that there is no appreciable difference in meaning for "that he read" or that he had read", and so either would work.


1. If I knew you had known that he read the book, I would ~~.

In this case, "if I knew" could mean "I don't now know". Sometimes, even when the parties to the conversation know the context, there could be misunderstandings. A person may well add 'now', as in,

"If I now knew",

which equals "I don't now know"



2. If I knew you had known that he had read the book, I would ~~.

"If I knew" can say,

"Allowing/If you say that I knew at some time in the past {but I've either forgotten that I knew or I don't think I ever did know but for the sake of this discussion we'll proceed as if I did know".

{Geeze, it's way way easier knowing the situation first and giving the language for such a situation. This is mind-boggling.}



3. If I knew you knew that he read the book, I would ~~.

"If I knew you knew"

can mean,

"I don't now know whether you know or not".

It could also carry the meaning in the speaker's mind of a "knowing at a past point in time",

"I don't now know whether you knew or not".

but that knowing then would likely entail that the person also knows now. It could be that the knowing at a past point in time is important/crucial to what the speaker wants to say. In that case, there would likely be an addition, something like,

"If I knew you knew then ..."



5. If I knew you know that he read the book, I would ~~.
6. If I knew you know that he had read the book, I would ~~.

I can't envision a scenario for #5 or 6 right now.
 
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