Don't, didn't know or had't known her well?

avidsuper

Senior Member
Japanese
I would have invited her, but I_____ her well.

A. don't know B.didn't know C. hadn't known D. haven't known

The correct answer is A, but why not be B? Without a specific context, we can't determine which is better, can we?
 
  • avidsuper

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    B. could mean that she is dead. :)
    I didn't know that! Let's say I'm talking about a birthday party last year. Back then, I didn't know her well (a year later, meaning now, I know her well because we have had opportunities to talk and do thingss together over the past year. Can't say "I would have invited her, but I didn't know her well?"
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    B is a perfectly good answer. The problem with a test like this is, as you say, the lack of context. Your suggested context makes that point.

    In the sentence given, there is no likelihood of "I didn't know her well" being understood to imply she is dead.

    (The other problem is that the sentence is not idiomatic - but that's irrelevant to the grammar.)
     

    avidsuper

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    B is a perfectly good answer. The problem with a test like this is, as you say, the lack of context. Your suggested context makes that point.

    In the sentence given, there is no likelihood of "I didn't know her well" being understood to imply she is dead.

    (The other problem is that the sentence is not idiomatic - but that's irrelevant to the grammar.)
    Thank you, Andy! How about C? Is C ok? If I want to express the idea that up to the moment I considered sending her an invitation, I felt I hadn't known her well enough, and so I decided not to send her the invitation. In that sense, can I use C?
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    No, C is using "know her well" as if it was an action, that happened (or hadn't happened) at some time before your decision to not invite her. "Know her well" is not an action, that happens at a time.

    For that we use "getting to know her". That phrase describes the transition from "not knowing her well" to "knowing her well", each of which is a state, not an action.

    You could say "I did not invite her to the party, because at that time I hadn't gotten to know here well". But it is simpler to say "At that time I did not know her well".
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I would have invited her, but I_____ her well.

    A. don't know B.didn't know C. hadn't known D. haven't known

    The correct answer is A, but why not be B? Without a specific context, we can't determine which is better, can we?
    Since A and B are both correct English, we should look at the context. Where was this test question? Was it part of a course? If so, it is testing things taught recently in the course. Was it on a website? If so it is testing things taught above it on the website.

    Answer A makes the sentence a verb tense mismatch, since "didn't" matches "would have invited her". Did the course recently teach the fact that A could be used here because of the logic (I still don't know her well, therefore I didn't know her well when I invited people)?

    If so, the test-writer was trying to create a question that tested that situation, and an answer (A) that used it. The test-writer was thinking about that, and failed to notice that (B) is also correct.
     

    avidsuper

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Since A and B are both correct English, we should look at the context. Where was this test question? Was it part of a course? If so, it is testing things taught recently in the course. Was it on a website? If so it is testing things taught above it on the website.

    Answer A makes the sentence a verb tense mismatch, since "didn't" matches "would have invited her". Did the course recently teach the fact that A could be used here because of the logic (I still don't know her well, therefore I didn't know her well when I invited people)?

    If so, the test-writer was trying to create a question that tested that situation, and an answer (A) that used it. The test-writer was thinking about that, and failed to notice that (B) is also correct.
    The course taught tense matches in the if-clause and the main clause, so the intended answer should be "I didn't know her". But the answer provided in the textbook is "I don't know her" THank you for your clear explanation. I got it.
     

    avidsuper

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Since A and B are both correct English, we should look at the context. Where was this test question? Was it part of a course? If so, it is testing things taught recently in the course. Was it on a website? If so it is testing things taught above it on the website.

    Answer A makes the sentence a verb tense mismatch, since "didn't" matches "would have invited her". Did the course recently teach the fact that A could be used here because of the logic (I still don't know her well, therefore I didn't know her well when I invited people)?

    If so, the test-writer was trying to create a question that tested that situation, and an answer (A) that used it. The test-writer was thinking about that, and failed to notice that (B) is also correct.
    About the word "know", I have another question:

    a. I have know her.
    b. I have known her for ten years.
    c. I have known her since 2004.

    I know sentences b and c are correct, but how about a? Incorrect? What makes a incorrect?
     
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