I didn’t know this was what this meant

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Fbohn21, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Fbohn21 Senior Member

    Deutsch
    Hello.

    I tell my friend that dog means Hund in German.

    She answers: I didn’t know that was what dog meant.


    Now I am wondering is the sentence above correct (“that was what dog meant.)?

    Couldn’t be:
    That is what dog means.

    I don’t think so right.
     
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    She answers: I didn’t know that was what dog meant. -> with an implied, "until you told me."
    She answers: I didn’t know that is what dog means. -> and still means. This is a statement of "eternal truth": it meant dog in the past, it means it presently, and it will mean it in the future.
     
  3. Fbohn21 Senior Member

    Deutsch
    I thought didn’t know was always used with the past.

    E.g

    I didn’t know you were german.
     
  4. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Then you have been educated, and my job is done... :D

    -How tall is he?
    -He's six foot.
    -I didn't know he was six foot!
    -What do you mean "was"? He still is six foot - unless he's grown!

    - How tall was he when he died?
    - He was six foot.
    - I didn't know he was six foot. I always thought he was small.
     
  5. Fbohn21 Senior Member

    Deutsch
    Well, I don’t know whether this is true or not?
     
  6. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    That is not a question, therefore it doesn't require a question mark.

    I have added examples to #4.
     
  7. Fbohn21 Senior Member

    Deutsch
    What about:


    I didn’t know it rained in Germany.
     
  8. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    I am not sure what point you are making.

    You said
    (My emphasis and punctuation.)
    I gave examples where this was/is not true.
     
  9. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Same as above responses.
     
  10. Fbohn21 Senior Member

    Deutsch
    As far as I know: I didn’t know you are that tall is wrong.


    But what about:
    I didn’t know it rained in Germany.

    The above answer doesn’t really tell me what should be used.
     
  11. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Unlike Paul, I'd say that you do need the past tense after "didn't know":
    I didn't know that you are tall.:cross:
    I didn't know that you were tall.:tick:
    I didn't know it rains in Germany.:cross:
    I didn't know it rained in Germany.:tick:
    I didn't know that is what 'dog' means.:cross:
    I didn't know that was what 'dog' meant.:tick:
     
  12. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Yes: I, too, would use the past tense after "didn't know..." in all those examples. :)
     

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