1

One of my friends was talking about her ex-boyfriend.

She said, "Akala ko kilala ko na siya." (in Filipino)

When translated directly from Filipino to English, it is: "I thought I know him."

But, "I thought I knew." appeared when I used Google Translate. This one seems more grammatical.

Both sound correct to me, but I want to learn which the correct expression is (or tense of verb to be used)?

Thank you for the help in advance!

2

‘I know’ and ‘I knew’ are two expressions that should be used with difference. It is very important to know about their usage in English grammar. The expression ‘I know’ is used in the case of sentences that speak about the events that take place in the present. On the other hand the expression ‘I knew’ is used in the case of sentences that speak about the events that took place in the past. This is the main difference between the two expressions, I know and I knew.

Observe the two sentences
1. I know he studies well.
2. I knew the dog fell into the well.

In the first sentence the expression ‘I know’ indicates the knowledge of the person that ‘the boy studies well presently’. In the second sentence the expression ‘I knew’ indicates the knowledge of the person that ‘the dog fell in to the well sometime ago’.

It is interesting to note that both the expressions are often followed by the word ‘that’ before a clause begins. Observe the two sentences


1. I know that she will come today.
2. I knew that she would not come today.

In both the sentences you can see that the expressions ‘I know’ and ‘I knew’ are followed by the word ‘that’.

It is very important to know that the verb will have to be changed to its past tense form when the expression ‘I knew’ is used as in the sentence ‘I knew she made it with ease’. Here you can see that the verb ‘make’ is changed to its past tense form ‘made’ since the expression ‘I knew’ is used. On the other hand the verb takes its present tense form in the case of the use of the expression ‘I know’.

  • So, I thought I knew him is the correct one? I was thinking, since they already broke up, the statement can be interpreted as "I did not really know him well." – Marah Jan 17 '17 at 9:34
  • Yes, I thought I knew him is the correct one – Chaitanya Kumar Jan 17 '17 at 9:45
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I think I know him. I thought I knew him. I thought to myself, "I know him".

  • Yes, think and know should be the same tense (although there may be an exception when one of them is in quotation marks). – J.R. Jan 17 '17 at 16:44
  • Right, in that case it is analogous to direct speech. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 17 '17 at 18:22

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