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Hi, hope someone can help me with this.

I believe it's said," I knew he was your brother."

So what abt: I have always known that he is/was your brother.

Was seems to sound so much smoother in this case. Am i correct?

Thanks!
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Hi,

I believe it's said," I knew he was your brother."

So what abt: I have always known that he is/was your brother.

Was seems to sound so much smoother in this case. Am i correct?


Much depends on the context.

eg Are you speaking of a time in the past? 'When I met him 20 years ago, I knew he was your brother'.

eg Tom: Fred, this is my brother.

Fred: I knew he was your brother, as soon as I came into this room and saw him.

Your example with Present Perfect is correct grammar, but seems like something you wouldn't often want to say. It's like the answer to the question 'How long have you known that he was my brother?', which seems an uncommon kind of question.

Best wishes, Clive
I'm sorry, but i do not quite understand. You said that much depends on the context, yet both examples you gave contain only the past tense. Am I to take it that the past tense is always used to keep in concordance with "knew"?

Also, since you mentioned that using "was" in the Present Pefect is correct grammar, could you explain why?

Thank you so much =)
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Hi,

i do not quite understand. You said that much depends on the context, yet both examples you gave contain only the past tense. Am I to take it that the past tense is always used to keep in concordance with "knew"?

When you say 'I knew that . . .', you are talking of the past so it's always correct to say 'I knew that he was your brother'.

However, if the point in the past is quite recent (eg two minutes ago, or last week), it's acceptable, at least in everyday speech, to say 'is' instead of 'was'. You are stating it as a fact, eg After I read it in a book last week, I knew that Canada is a very cold country'. However, if the fact is no longer "true", eg if in your example the brother died, then say 'was' rather than 'is'.


Also, since you mentioned that using "was" in the Present Perfect is correct grammar, could you explain why? Well, again consider the reasons explained above. eg You wouldn't say 'is' if the brother died last week.

Best wishes again, Clive

CliveHowever, if the point in the past is quite recent (eg two minutes ago, or last week), it's acceptable, at least in everyday speech, to say 'is' instead of 'was'. You are stating it as a fact, eg After I read it in a book last week, I knew that Canada is a very cold country'.
Hi,
that's weird... I was always told you needed a past tense in those kinds of sentences. Do you really say "I knew that Canada is a very cold country"? I remember being told that sentences like "I knew you are American" are so unnatural that no native speaker would say them that way...
Just wondering whether you are "different"... Emotion: smile
Hi,

Is it OK if we switch verbs? I have a suspicion that the original poster might be better off using 'learn' rather than 'know'. (First you learn, then you know).

Do you have similar concerns about 'As a child, I learned that the sun rises in the East'?

Just wondering whether you are "different"... Yes, in ways that you can't even begin to imagine.Emotion: stick out tongue

Clive
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CliveDo you have similar concerns about 'As a child, I learned that the sun rises in the East'?
Hmm, no, that's ok. Also, I think there's no problem with verbs like "tell, say, hear, find out, read..."
The verbs that sounds much better with a past tense when reporting are verbs like "think" and "know". I also invented a general rule or theory. I think the verbs that require a past tense are the ones that are strongly related to a particular moment in the past and people's feelings at that moment. So, apart from "know" and "think", similar verbs could be "feel, believe, wonder", probably also "realize", sometimes.
Emotion: smile
Was seems to sound so much smoother in this case. Am [ i ] I correct?
Yes.

CJ
Hi,

I knew he was your brother.

I have always known that he was your brother.


But would you say that these relate to a particular moment in the past?

Clive

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