I have online students studying English with me. A small number of them ask grammar questions. Sometimes the best answer I can offer is that I don’t know but will find an answer. Sometimes I’m stumped, so I’ve decided to come here for answers.
One of my students is reading a fictional blog about a lady who has a grandmother who has a sister named Dia. She asked why the following sentence has the word ‘had’ even though Dia is still alive. “She even didn’t know her grandmother had a sister.” I don’t know the grammar rule here, so the best I could say was that I’m sure ‘had’ is correct, and that because ‘has’ feels okay to me, some people must use ‘has’. In fact, because Dia is still alive, using ‘has’ makes much more sense to me.
Though I’d be happy to have a direct answer, I’d also like to know what books or websites I can turn to to find my own answers to grammar questions. Seems to me this one is a particularly advanced question, though I welcome someone telling me otherwise.
Thanks very much, Troy :)