I wrote this sentence -

Not that I did not try to find him, but no one who I know knows about her.

Is this sentence understandable?

"No one who I know" is it correct?

What I intended to mean -

"I know a few people. Among them there was no one who knows about him"

  • "No one who I know" is fine, but I would probably use a bare relative instead ("no one I know"). Also, I'd contract "did not" to "didn't", personally. – snailplane Dec 29 '13 at 5:03
  • Not that I did not try means "I hardly tried". And why is it "who" and not "whom"? – SovereignSun Mar 27 '17 at 19:17
  • It is a double negative. "I do not not like peas." While not the best English we hear it all the time. My example infers that peas might not be my favourite, but I eat them. Your example means, " I did try to find him." It is not really working with the bit after the comma. I think it is really better as two sentences. – WRX Mar 27 '17 at 20:43

I would understand you perfectly.

Having said that, I wouldn't normally use a double negative in the first part of the sentence, and I'd omit the "who" from "no one who I know":

I tried to find him, but no one I know knows about him.

I'd change these things as a matter of style, however, not grammar.


The second part of your sentence may be harder to understand because of the two consecutive verbs, one for the relative clause ("who I know") and the main verb ("[no one] knows").

Also, when I try to read your sentence out loud, I tend to pause after "I know" to signal the end of the relative clause.

Here's an alternate wording:

..., but I don't know anyone who knows about her.

This attaches a relative clause to the object (instead of the subject), allowing the clause to be at the end of the sentence, so it doesn't come between the subject and the main verb.

It also puts more emphasis on the "I" instead of the "no one". In some cases it could be clearer to have a positive subject rather than a negative subject.

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