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What you know now, revisited

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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What you know now, revisited

Postby NGUYEN » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:04 pm

Dear Teacher:
I would like you to give me some additional information regarding the topic “what you know now” posted on July 02, 2013. I feel that I did not express myself clearly when I posted it in July. I am trying hard to express myself more clearly now.

Suppose that I am interviewing an unhappy home owner. At the interview, this unhappy man had bought the house already. He did not know the defect when he bought the house. He found the defect only later on. Therefore, the action “knew” in the sentence “If you knew what you know now, would you buy the house?”, is counterfactual.

After considering my explanation, do you think that the sentence is still acceptable and still reflects my idea. Should I use "if you had known what you know now " instead. Thank you very much for your help. Respectfully.

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Re: What you know now, revisited

Postby Alan » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:05 am

As originally answered, only 'had known' makes sense. The earlier sentence is merely self-contradictory.

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