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I am not sure whether I should use past simple or past perfect here:

I could've met her when she was in the city, but unfortunately we didn't talk at that time and later when we resumed it turned out she had been here but I hadn't known / didn't know about that.

2 Answers 2

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It's "I hadn't known", because the speaker's ignorance was contemporaneous with the fact that she had been there.

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Your sentence isn't perfectly clear. We don't know if you're describing two missed opportunities, or a situational irony.

SITUATIONAL IRONY

... later, when we resumed, it turned out that she had been here all along

With a temporal phrase like all along or for quite a while, you can eliminate the ambiguity of the past perfect, which might be understood to mean "had been here again briefly for a visit and had left again":

TWO MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

... later, when we resumed, it turned out that she had been here (that is, had been here once again for a visit)

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