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(A/The) person who I (didn't/don't) know called on me.

In this case, which should I select 'A' or 'The', 'don't' or'didn't'?

As 'called' is past tense, should I use 'didn't'?

But if 'didn't' is used, I think that the sentence means 'I' konw the person when speaking,

didn't know the person when the person called on me.

I want to mean that I don't and didn't know the person both when speaking and when calling on me.So I think that 'don't' is also grammatically correct .

And I think 'A person' is correct , because the people to who I spoke hear the 'person' first time.

But I think 'The person' is also crrect, because the 'person' is added ''who I (didn't/don't) know''.

Which should I use?

I wonder I could make you understood?

thank you.

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Comments  
hhanz10(A/The) person who I (didn't/don't) know called on me.
The indefinite article "a" is correct.
In order to use "the," the person would have needed to be mentioned in prior context as an unknown person.

Either tense is possible (didn't / don't). You didn't know him then; you still don't know him now. (Even if you do know him now, it's okay to backshift, matching the tense of the main verb.)
I understand.

Thank you for your reply.
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(A/The) person who I (didn't/don't) know called on me.

A person whom I didn't know called on me.

(NB 'whom' not 'who')

This is the only correct sentence. As you mention, 'called' is Past Tense, referring to a single event in the past, over, done, finished. Hence, whether you know or don't know the person relates to the time of when he called, and so must also be in the Past Tense.

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Terryxpress whether you know or don't know the person relates to the time of when he called, and so must also be in the Past Tense.
I've never been able to understand this point of view.

A person I know from work called on me yesterday soliciting for the Red Cross.

According to your position, I must say,
A person I knew from work called on me yesterday etc.

What's wrong with including information from various time periods in the same sentence?
The girl whom I will marry next week was in a minor motorcycle accident yesterday.

I am a supporter of the objective case, however, and would prefer "whom" in the OP's sentence. I just get tired of fighting about it. "Whom" seems to be on the way out.

Best regards, - A. Emotion: smile
A person I know from work called on me yesterday soliciting for the Red Cross.

According to your position, I must say,
A person I knew from work called on me yesterday etc.

No. It could be either "knew" or "know".
knew: If you worked at some place in the past, met the person there, but have not had contact since/don't have an ongoing friendship, then this person is someone 'I knew from when I worked at XYZ."

know: If you and this person currently work at the same place, then he is 'someone I know from work.'

What's wrong with including information from various time periods in the same sentence?
The girl whom I will marry next week was in a minor motorcycle accident yesterday.

The sentence is quite correct.

I am a supporter of the objective case, however, and would prefer "whom" in the OP's sentence. I just get tired of fighting about it. "Whom" seems to be on the way out.

Well and truly - grammar as she is spoke these days, particularly in America, is atrocious. That doesn't mean that you can't choose to speak correctly!


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Thanks for the reply, Terry.

How about, "A person whom I don't know tried to tell me that he's my father." [:^)] - A.
Ooooh.......fun!

The sentence is illogical - you do 'know' him - you met him, and he claimed to be your father. And here you are, talking about him in the present, about that meeting!
What the speaker means, is that ' a man whom I'd never met before in my life...'

The Present Tense form would be correct in:
"A person whom I don't know will try to tell me that he's my father. Well, Dad, that's what the gypsy fortune teller said. So I thought a DNA test might..."
Seems like a very restrictive usage of "know." According to your post, you "know" every stranger who accosts you, simply by telling him to bug off!

Do you know that guy you were just talking to?
(reply) No. I never saw him before in my life.

According to your position, the preceding conversation would be impossible.

Was that someone you know? (impossible!)

I think you're confusing "know" with "recognize."

Was that someone you recognized? (This is okay.)

Even "recognize" has another sense:
That was not a piece I recognize as being Classical.

I think some of these tense restrictions are unrealistic.

Best wishes, - A. Emotion: smile
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