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I had a stranger reaching out to me via email and I wanted to ask how he knew my email. Do all the following sentences sound good to you?:

“How did you know my email?”

“How did you find out about my email?”

“How did you find out my email?”

I guess the first one does sound natural but I would like to know if the second and third sentences are correct too.

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All of these are grammatically correct. The second:

How did you find out about my email?

suggests asking not how the stranger learned your email, but how he learned that you had email at all, which is not, I think, what you mean.

I think the most natural way to ask the question would be to use"get" as in:

  • How did you get my email?
  • Where did you get my email?
  • From whom did you get my email? [correct but "whom" is underused these days, and so this might seem odd to some]

I would suggest using one of these.

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  • To me the second is naturally understood as asking "How did you find out about my email message".
    – Peter
    Apr 2 at 4:14
  • @Peter Yes it could mean that too.
    – David Siegel
    Apr 2 at 5:18
  • @DavidSiegel thanks so much. I didn't know that "find out about my email" could mean something totally different!
    – Joji
    Apr 4 at 5:21

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