A conversation like this:

A: you never know she has a bad relation with her step father.

B: Her mother didn't know. How should I know that?

The meaning by B is if her mother didn't know, less probably I should know the fact mentioned by A. If I was B, I would like to add a even in the beginning of the sentence, i.e. Even her mother didn't know. This is due to my first language habit and I feel more comfortable to use a 'even' to express the logic relation between the two sentences.

But maybe my 'even' is redundant for native speaker and in English it can be present in a more concise way like it is in the conversation.

So, my question is whether in English, we can generally use less small words like even, just, yet to avoid explicitly emphasize the logic relation between sentences. Just say it sequentially and the audience can easily understand the whole meaning?

1 Answer 1


even is not grammatically necessary, but it adds a useful emphasis to the sentence and aids comprehension. In this respect, I doubt if English is significantly different to your own language.

  • in my own language, we have a word equivalent to 'even' so 'even' is compulsory in this context in my language. So when speaking English, I almost do the translation in mind so I tend to say out even in this conversation. But what you answered is inspiring and it is the English language phenomenon I found from this conversation case.
    – LUSAQX
    Jan 8, 2018 at 2:12

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