I didn't know about this song VS I haven't heard about this sing!


Senior Member
Good afternoon!

I was trying to understand the difference between Past Simple and Present Perfect and came across this thread on Stack Exchange:

"I didn't know" or "I haven't known"?

Here's a quote from there:
You cannot use I haven't known that here. The present perfect describes a present state which arises out of a prior eventuality, and you are implicitly saying that your present state is that you do know that—which is not a state that can arise out of your previous ignorance. (It can emerge from your previous ignorance, but it can only arise out of learning it.)

This makes perfect sence, until we change the verb "know" for, say, "hear":

Oh, I haven't heard this song (until now)! ✔️
Oh, I haven't known this song (until now)!
Oh, I didn't know this song (until now)! ✔️

Can you, please, explain why this logic works for the verb "know" but beaks at "hear"?

Thank you in advcance!
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    The verb "know" is special. It isn't an ordinary action. It means "learned in the past". If I "knew" something yesterday, I still "know" it today, without doing anything. But if I "ate" something yesterday, I would do something to "eat" it today.

    So you can't swap "know" with other verbs and assume the usage is the same. It isn't.

    That's logic!