This sentence is normal if you are sure that you do not know his number: If I knew his number, I would tell you. (But I don't know his number, so I can't tell you.)1．If I knew his number, I would tell you. (why knew not know?)
Unreal conditional, below is a Chinese explanation of this, it may help.Thank you very much owlman5! Your answer is very helpful, especially the link of English Page.
About " If I knew his number, I would tell you. " , I still don't get why it is knew (past tense).
Please help me! tks!
I'm sorry if I was unclear earlier. I think it is abnormal because speakers are ordinarily aware if they know something or not. The grammar would be normal if you really didn't know if you knew the number, but that seems very unlikely to me.Just to be clear, is normal not abnormal?
I'm not sure I can do much to help you other than to direct you to a discussion of the past subjunctive *in English. I think you are confusing the past subjunctive with the simple past. That's not surprising because the spelling and pronunciation of the verbs used to convey these meanings is identical for most verbs:Also, owlman5, would you please clarify me that the simple past knew is different from the knew of If I knew his number?