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I've been bothered by these two sentences though having tried many methods such as dictionaries, Google, grammar books and my colleagues as well. I've gotten various interpretations from them. Here are the two sentences: (A) Do you know the foreigner we're talking about "killed" his son? (B) Do you know the foreigner we're talking about "kills" his son? Are these two sentences both grammatically correct? Is there any semantical difference between them, such as different focuses? I'm really looking forward to your opinions and one million thanks in advance. Thanks for your help!
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I hope that native speakers will give you their opinion but here's mine.

Do you know that the foreigner we're talking about killed his son? (he killed his son but you may not know it; in my opinion "that" is not optional here)

Do you know whether the foreigner we're talking about killed his son? (we don't know whether he (the foreigner) killed him or not)
Do you know the foreigner we're talking about "killed" his son?
He killed his son at one time in the past.

Do you know the foreigner we're talking about "kills" his son?

The only contexts I can imagine this sentence is that "the foreigner" is in a film and the speaker knows that in this film he kills his son.

or - that the speaker is clairvoyant and knows that at some time in the future "the foreigner" will do this.

If you said " ......kills his sons?" this suggests a repeated action, every time he has a son he kills that son.
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On second thought, the "that" is not really required but can help make the sentence read more smoothly (well, for me anyway)
Thanks a lot ^___^
Thanks a lot !! I appreciate it very much. Btw, is there also any custom of releasing sky lanterns in your country, France? In my hometown, Taiwan, we also release sky lanterns with our wishes on an important festival Emotion: smile
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s081873 Btw, is there also any custom of releasing sky lanterns in your country, France?
Not yet!!!
I am trying to make this into a tradition here by releasing the lanterns at all the important celebrations. [<:o)] I have to order them from China as they are not available here. The ones I buy are called wishing lanterns, I really like making a wish when releasing the lantern. Emotion: wink
(A) Do you know the foreigner we're talking about "killed" his son? If you are asking if I know the foreigner; the one that killed his son, then it is correct as is.

(B) Do you know the foreigner we're talking about "kills" his son? "Kills" is incorrect in that it is future tense, which you could not possibly know.
s081873(A) Do you know the foreigner we're talking about "killed" his son?
(B) Do you know the foreigner we're talking about "kills" his son?I assume the quotes are just to draw our attention to the crux of your question. Bold face would have been better because the quotes indicate a non-literal usage of the word, and the word "kill" is used non-literally quite often in English. I will assume you are using the word literally.

B is impossible. kills, being in the simple present tense, suggests a habit -- repeated killing of the same person in this case. You can only kill someone once, so the use of kills makes no sense.

The only exception is that of a story the outcome of which is known beforehand, which Louise has already mentioned.

CJ

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