little did I know such a person in my life
Is this a complete quote or merely a snippet?
- Little did I know such a person in my life.
I ask because, on it's own, sentence (1) feels awkward as (without further context) it seems to be incorrectly using a common expression.
The big problem is that "Little did [I] know..." is an expression generally used to highlight a situation where [I] believe/assume one thing, but am proven wrong in light of new information or a more omniscient viewpoint. (This is why/how 'facts' come into play in your comments section.)
It is probably best understood as part of a loose phrasal template, "[X, but...] little did [Y] know... [that Z]."
And, although the assumed situation [X] can often be omitted (simply implied from context), the actual situation [Z] should always be clearly understandable.
So, the main problem with (1) is that it feels like an incorrect use of the above common expression; I'll try to illustrate exactly why with the following examples:
- Little did she know her mother hated coffee.
- Little did she know her mother.
Here, in (2) we have a situation that correctly fits the template. It is implied that the daughter assumed her mother likes or loves coffee, but some more omniscient viewpoint knows that her mother actually hates it. Why would this occur? Who knows! Maybe meeting up for coffee was the only way for an estranged mother to start to reconnect with her daughter? Maybe the mother owns a cafe but secretly hates the stuff? It could be anything, but no matter what the particulars of the story are, the sentence itself clearly states that "the mother hated coffee" and "the daughter thought the opposite".
In (3) we have an incomplete fit to the template. What is the actual state of affairs versus what has been incorrectly assumed? What information about the mother did the daughter incorrectly assume? This is the same incompleteness that is felt in (1) for "such a person in my life"; what about "such a person in my life" is incorrectly assumed?
- Never have I known such a person in my life.
This sentence feels completely different, because it is no longer accidentally lining up with the "little did I know..." expression, and so the reader no longer expects to find a plot twist! If we assume that this is what the author of (1) was intending to convey, then a better choice would be:
- Rarely have I known such a person in my life.
Using 'rarely' as the qualifier instead of little lets us sidestep the common "little did I know..." expression entirely, while still showing that this kind of occurrence happens more-than-never but less-than-normal. And the "have known" present perfect form is good because people generally continue "to know" one another, whereas the "did know" past tense form seems to imply that the relationship stopped at some earlier point.
Lastly, there might be some very weird corner-cases where (1) could work, but those situations will typically involve some amount of poetic license and require great care in one's cadence to avoid falling into the the trap of being misunderstood as the "little did I know..." phrase. One such example might be:
- Little did I know John Doe. But what I do know is that...
The above could work as the beginning of a eulogy or something along those lines, where the meaning is essentially "I knew little of John Doe" rearranged for poetic effect.
A clear statement like (5) should in general be much more preferable to something like (6) which would require very specific timing and cadence to properly avoid the "little did I know..." misunderstanding.