What is the correct way to express that you didn't know something, but now you know?

My friend sent me a snapchat of his FIFA game play. For the first 2 secs of the footage, it looked like an actual soccer match to me, so sent him a snapchat saying "I thought that was a real soccer match lol". I was expecting a response like "yeah it kind of does lol", but he replied "no, it's my game play".


Your friend was likely fairly sure you knew it was game play. He probably wasn't positive though, due to the subtlety of your words, "I thought that was a real soccer match, lol." You never actually stated that you knew now that it was game play. It is certainly implied in using the past tense "thought" and the final "lol", but not made concrete. Just to make sure you understood, even though he probably suspected you did, he repeated that it was his game play. It was just one of those awkward situations that people have sometimes when communicating.

A way you could have made yourself more clear was as you did with us.

  • Wow, for the first few seconds your game play looked like a real soccer match!
  • (friend now can reply) I know, right!?

This time it is clear that you initially misunderstood what you were seeing, but you soon realized it was a fantastic looking game.

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  • Oh ok, so there was nothing wrong with the tense. Could you tell the differences in meaning between "didn't know you were" vs "didn't know you are"? I researched and found out "didn't+were" means that you didn't know something, but you know now. Ex. A friend wore Cavalier's. I told him "I didn't know you were Cavalier's fan." How does the meaning change with didn't+are – English101 Jan 19 '17 at 4:40
  • @English101 In common speech, there is usually no difference between "didn't know you were" and "didn't know you are". Grammatically, the former would be better because subjunctive mood is appropriate for the doubt inherent in the lack of knowledge. – RichF Jan 19 '17 at 4:58

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