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  1. I know that she will not come today.
  2. I knew that she will not come today.

Which of the above is more accurate if I want to say I knew that she won't come long time ago?

  • What does (a) long time ago refer to: your knowing or her coming? – user6951 Jun 15 '14 at 11:41
  • @carsmack Let's say I made an appointment with her a month ago, and I know she will not come right from appointment is made. – user49119 Jun 15 '14 at 12:48
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It depends on what you want to emphasize.

I know that she will not come today.

means that at the moment you say/write this, you are asserting something to be a fact, namely that she will not come on that day. You say/write this before the fact you assert has been proven to be true or false.


To emphasize that you had this knowledge from the moment you made the appointment, use knew.

I knew that she would not come today.

You can say this either (1) before the fact has been verified as true, or (2) after the fact has been verified.

(1) Example: it is noon or 3pm and she has not yet come. The fact is not yet proven to be true, but you still assert the fact. You can tell somene over the phone: I knew that she would not come today even though today is still not over.

(2) Example: it is the end of the day and she has not come, you can make the same statement, but now your assertion has proven to be true: I knew that she would not come today.

This states your knowledge with no particular emphasis.


If you want to emphasize that you knew, then you can either (1) stress the word knew:

I knew that she would not come today.

or go further and (2) use an intensifier, such as just:

I just knew that she would not come today.

The above is true for both spoken and written communication.


In informal or everyday communication (such as talking with a friend or colleague, or writing them a note or informal email), the expression would most likely be:

I knew she wouldn't come today.

(Notice that (1) the word that is omitted, and (2) would not is contracted. )

| improve this answer | |
  • thanks. Are there any practical difference in meaning of I know that she will not come today. and I knew that she would not come today.? – user49119 Jun 15 '14 at 13:54
  • @user49119 See the first couple of lines, which I added to my answer. Yes, there is a practcal difference, and it depends on what you want to emphasize. – user6951 Jun 15 '14 at 14:21

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