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Dear Teachers

A: There is a cute black and white dog over there.

1. B: why I don’t see it?

2. B: why I didn’t see it?

Which is correct? Maybe both are ok!

can you help me explain #1,#2 ?

Thanks a lot.
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Jacky56LinThe sentence” you were here”, I wonder if I mean you are not here now? I am so confused about that, help me.
It can go either way.

Suppose Karen was here yesterday. You saw her here yesterday.

Today she calls. On the phone you talk about yesterday. You say, "You were here". This is true, but in this case she is not here now. She is at home, talking to you on the phone.

Suppose, however, that instead of calling, Karen comes here again. You see her. You talk about yesterday. You say, "You were here". This is true, but in this case she is here now.

So it doesn't make any difference whether she is here now or not here now. It is still true that she was here yesterday. Either way you can say, "You were here". It doesn't say that she is here now, and it doesn't say that she is not here now. It doesn't say anything about where she is now. "You were here" does not tell us where you are now.

CJ
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Hi,

A: There is a cute black and white dog over there.

1. B: why I don’t see it? Why don't I see it? I'm looking in that direction right now.
More common is 'Why can't I see it?'

2. B: why I didn’t see it? Why didn't I see it? When I looked in that direction eg a few moments ago.

Which is correct? Maybe both are ok! Yes, both OK, but with different meanings, as noted.

can you help me explain #1,#2 ?

Clive
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Jacky56LinA: There is a cute black and white dog over there.
1. B: why I don’t see it?
2. B: why I didn’t see it?
Which is correct? Maybe both are ok!
can you help me explain #1,#2 ?
A: There is a cute black and white dog over there.
B: Why don’t I see it? (B is looking where A is pointing, but he does not see the dog at all.)

A: There is a cute black and white dog over there.
B: Why didn’t I see it? (B sees the dog, and asks why he didn't notice it earlier, when A saw it.)
Teacher Clive and AlpheccaStars! Thank you very much for your so detailed explanations.

I realize all of your answers.

But I am still confused about the verb “know”as below questions.

(I think see and know have different usages)

Q1: When someone goes into a place, they see a friend over there. But they didn’t make an appointment in advance. and they say:

1. A: Hello! I don’t know you are here.

2. A: Hello! I didn’t know you are here.

3. A: Hello! I didn’t know you were here.

According to your explanation to “Why didn't I see it?", then I know #2 is correct.

If #1 and #3 is not correct, what situation or contexts can they say two of them. Help me make examples. Thanks.

Q2: If someone has a baby face but he actually is a teacher, so that many students think he is a student in the school. So those students are so surprised about him (about he is a teacher). And says:

1. A: You are a teacher? Really? I don’t know you are a teacher.

2. A: You are a teacher? Really? I didn’t know you are a teacher.

3. A: You are a teacher? Really? I didn’t know you were a teacher.

Which one is correct? Why the others are not?



Q3: About arithmetic.

1. A: I don’t know 3 + 6 = 9.

2. A: I didn’t know 3+ 6= 9.

In my thought #1 and #2 are all correct. right?

Thanks again.
Hi again,

I realize all of your answers.

But I am still confused about the verb “know”as below questions.

(I think see and know have different usages)

Q1: When someone goes into a place, they see a friend over there. But they didn’t make an appointment in advance. and they say:

1. A: Hello! I don’t know you are here. Not correct. You saw the person a few seconds ago, so use past tense, as you have in #3..

2. A: Hello! I didn’t know you are here. Not good grammar.

3. A: Hello! I didn’t know you were here. Correct. At the time you say this, you know, so use past tense to say that a few seconds ago you didn't knowr

According to your explanation to “Why didn't I see it?", then I know #2 is correct. You have misunderstood. 'Why didn't I see it?' is also past tense. It tells us nothing about whether you see it now.

If #1 and #3 is not correct, what situation or contexts can they say two of them. Help me make examples. It's hard to find a good example of when you'd say #1. #3 is correct..

Q2: If someone has a baby face but he actually is a teacher, so that many students think he is a student in the school. So those students are so surprised about him (about he is a teacher). And says:

1. A: You are a teacher? Really? I don’t know you are a teacher.

2. A: You are a teacher? Really? I didn’t know you are a teacher.

3. A: You are a teacher? Really? I didn’t know you were a teacher.

Which one is correct? Why the others are not? My comments are basically the same as for your examples above.



Q3: About arithmetic.

1. A: I don’t know 3 + 6 = 9. This means that , right now, you think the answer is eg 47.

2. A: I didn’t know 3+ 6= 9. You didn't know at some time in the past. Maybe you know now, maybe you don't, but it implies that you do.
In my thought #1 and #2 are all correct. right?

Clive
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Clive1. A: Hello! I don’t know you are here.
As Clive says, this is not correct. As you are talking to the person, you do know where they are!
We often mix present and past tense in conversations. Suppose you are in a very crowded train station. You can't find your friend whom you are supposed to meet with. You (A) call them on your cell phone and say:

A: "Hello. I'm (present) at the station. I know you are here (present) too, because I saw (past) your bicycle locked up outside. But I don't see (present) you. Where are (present), you?"
B: "I fell (past) and hit (past) my head. I don't know (present) where I am(present). But I see (present) a big MacDonalds sign near me."
Dear Teachers Clive and AlpheccaStars

I check English grammar for Sequence of Verb Tenses.

One of them is ok. Please See below

Main sentence (past) / clause (present tense)

I mean I didn’t know you are here. It should be ok!

I Check on Google actually really many people use “I didn’t know you are here.”

I mean when I see him at the place, and say this sentence, I do see him is there now (I do see a real thing; it is that you are here.) The sentenceyou were here”, I wonder if I mean you are not here now? I am so confused about that, help me.

If I can not realize how to use past/present (when they combine into a sentence) , and then In the future I will be still scare of them.

Thanks again
Hi,

When I check Google for "I didn't know you are here', I get very few hits and your query right here on English Forums comes up first in the list.

Main sentence (past) / clause (present tense)

This structiure is often used for eternal or permanent truths.
eg I didn't know water freezes below zero degrees.
eg I didn't know Washington is the capital of the USA.
'Permanent' can sometimes mean less than forever,
eg I didn't know Obama is the current President of the USA.
Thus, if you say 'I didn't know you are here', it sounds to me liike you are suggesting the person will somehow be 'here' permanently.

Clive

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Jacky56LinI mean I didn’t know you are here. It should be ok!
As Clive said, this is not a good sentence.
The problem is "know" in the past and "are" in the present. It is conflicting, because the past of "know" establishes the "speaker's reference time" in the past, and "are" makes the "speaker's reference time" in the present. You cannot be in two different times at the same instant!
(P.S. As Clive answered you, the sentence would only make sense if "you are here" is true for all times.)

Here are correct ones:
1) I didn't know you would be here. (past, future in the past).
The speaker refers to a distant time in the past, perhaps yesterday, or earlier today, when he knew that he would be here, but he didn't know if you would be here also. The speaker is surprised to see you.

2) I didn't know you were here. (past, past).
The speaker refers to a time in the very recent past, e.g. (a few minutes ago), before he met you, but after you had arrived.
You were here at that time, and he didn't know that. (You are still here, and the speaker is surprised to see you. At this moment he has realized that you are here.)
3) We can move this sequence of tenses to (present, present), but we cannot at the same time use the negative of know, unless you make the "you are here" clause one of doubt.
a) I know you are here. (I am sure that you are here, because I see you.)

b) I don't know if you are here (or not). (I am uncertain, because I have not seen you.)
c) I know you aren't here. (I am sure that you are not here, because I have looked everywhere, and did not find you.)
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