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Are all the below options grammatically correct?

  1. I knew/guessed your hair would be curly.
  2. I knew/guessed you had curly hair.
  3. I knew/guessed you would have curly hair.

In option 2, does had imply that the person had curly hair and doesn't have curly hair?

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  • Yes, you can literally interpret #2 that way. Most people aren't pedantic about that though. They're all generally correct although I think #2 is actually the one I would probably prefer.
    – shawnt00
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 17:03

1 Answer 1

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All of those are grammatical, and the only fact stated by those sentences which use the verb guess is a fact about your guess; they say nothing factual, one way or another, about his or her hair.

On the other hand, knew implies that the experience of seeing the hair corroborates the thought you had about it.

That said, in speech (as distinct from writing), you could give guessed an intonation that conveys the idea "and I was correct in my guess!" or you could give curly an intonation that conveys the idea "and I was wrong in my guess!"

I GUESSED you would have curly hair. [I was right]
I guessed you would have CURLY hair. [I was wrong]

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    "as I had guessed" or "as I thought you would be".
    – TimR
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 16:02
  • Thanks, I was thinking of using "so" to avoid repetition.
    – Cardinal
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 16:05
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    as already conveys the idea contained in so. Your construction is not idiomatic.
    – TimR
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 16:06
  • So option 2 doesn't imply that the person had and doesn't have curly hair, right?
    – M. Vohra
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 16:07
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    If you are looking at the person as you say these words, "I knew you had curly hair", it could fit the following contexts: a) Even though you are bald now, I knew that as a youth your hair was curly. or b) Now that I see that you have curly hair under that hat, I can say I was right to think your hair was curly.
    – TimR
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 16:12

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