May anyone please tell me which one of the following statement is correct

  1. I wasn't even aware it's his birthday today.

  2. I didn't know it's his birthday today.

  • Both sentences sound wrong to me. Apr 12, 2017 at 6:30
  • 2
    @SovereignSun It would be best if you gave correct versions.
    – olegst
    Apr 12, 2017 at 6:51
  • 1
    @olegst Somehow I feel it should be: "I wasn't even aware (that) it was his birthday today." and "I didn't know (that) it was his birthday today." but I'm a non-native speaker. Apr 12, 2017 at 7:09
  • 2
    For all intents and purposes, the two sentences mean the same, but the second one is a little more blameless; you hadn't said "Happy birthday" to the person because you hadn't known. The first one is slightly (ever so slightly) blaming someone as if someone should have let you know (made you aware) that it had been "his" birthday. Apr 12, 2017 at 8:00
  • 1
    Meanwhile, it's not uncommon for people to change tenses mid-sentence when speaking because our thinking changes tracks mid-sentence, but I agree with SovereignSun's comment that for me, personally, I would have used "...was his birthday..." for both sentences. Apr 12, 2017 at 8:04

1 Answer 1


Both statements are correct. The only question is whether one is more appropriate in the circumstances.

If a friend said to you in a surprised tone:

Didn't you get your coach anything for his birthday today?

You might well reply:

I wasn't even aware (that) it's his birthday today.

suggesting that there was no reason why you should have been aware and that it hadn't been brought to your attention.

It would also be correct to say:

I didn't know (that) it's his birthday today.

The concepts of awareness and knowledge overlap. The former is more often used to bring something to someone's attention, especially when giving a warning.

Are you aware that parking meters have been installed?

Are you aware that taxes are due by the end of the week.

The latter is more often used in the context of learning, memory and experience.

The Stackexchange reference given by olegst above gives you a more academic explanation of their origins.

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