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I wish I knew who you are?

Is the above sentence correct?

  • 2
    We do not end a statement such as "I wish I knew who you are" with a question mark. – Michael Harvey Oct 21 '18 at 9:09
1

Right,so:

1- I wish I knew [right now] who you were [it is improbable I will find out].

2- I wish I knew [right now] who you were [last week, I have since found out: you are rabbit].

3-I wish I knew [right now] who you are [right now].

The difference between 1 and 2, is that they potentially can mean two things which would be clarified only by context, as I have tried to show.

1- is likely to be something that will not happen 2- is something I wish now.

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  • I knew = right now?!?! hmm... – virolino Feb 5 '19 at 12:33
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    @virolino: Of course, I wish you knew your grammar [right now]. wish works differently than other verbs. You might want to look into that. – Lambie Feb 5 '19 at 18:33
  • @virolino subjunctive – whiskeychief Apr 29 '19 at 9:44
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I would say "I wish I knew who you are".

More examples:

  1. I wish I knew where you are. (The speaker does not know where the person he is referring to is now).

  2. I wish I knew where you were last night. (Here the speaker does not know now where the person he is referring to was last night)

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  • Welcome to the site! We're looking for answers that give explanations, not just simple yes/nos. As it is, you give no reasoning as to why you think the phrasing in the question is correct, so your answer doesn't really tell us anything other than your personal opinion about the phrase. – David Richerby Aug 13 '18 at 14:28
  • I appreciate you David for taking the time to share your views. I wanted my explanations to be concise. – user80495 Aug 18 '18 at 5:33
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I would say, "I wish I knew who you were," since it's subjunctive.

"I wish I knew who you are" is commonly used and easily understood, but I think it's technically incorrect.

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  • 2
    Interesting. I would think "I wish I knew who you are" is correct. In my view there is no need to continue the past subjunctive (knew) in the next clause. But I think we enter an area where things are a bit uncertain. Would be good to find a competent view. – rogermue Jun 14 '15 at 16:30
  • BNC: No solution for 1 I wish I knew who you were or 2 I wish I knew who you are. Bad luck. I'll try again. – rogermue Jun 14 '15 at 16:35
  • BNC has entries for "I wish I knew", but for me it is not clear whether English continues after "I wish I knew" with subjective in the following clause. This grammar problem must be explained somewhere on the Internet. – rogermue Jun 14 '15 at 16:44
  • "I wish I knew who you are" is commonly used and easily understood, but I think it's technically incorrect. – MissMonicaE Jun 14 '15 at 19:33
  • From other source I have the same view. – rogermue Jun 14 '15 at 19:47
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I wish I knew who you are?

The question mark is incorrect in this context, but

I wish I knew who you are.

is grammatically correct, although a bit odd sounding and specific.

It's a correct use of the subjunctive "I wish I knew..." but the "...who you are?" would only be correct if the speaker was talking to someone who they didn't know, and couldn't just ask "who are you?"

Perhaps if someone with a secret identity saved someone, and that person said "I wish I knew who you are"

grammatically there is nothing wrong with that, it's the same as "I wish I knew who Banksy is" but is just never said, since it would be more appropriate to simply ask the person being spoken to for their name.

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0

It should be:

I wish I knew who you were.

This is because the verb knew is past tense, so the verb were needs to be the same. Knowledge is something you already have, so even though you are wishing in the present, your wish is that you had that previous knowledge, hence the past tense.

You could make your present wish about the future by saying:

I wish I could know who you are.

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  • +1 for the correct answer (the first one) but -1 for the wrong reason. 🙂 The wish is for knowledge now, not in the past. But we use the past “knew” despite that fact, because it’s an expression of desire; a wish. – tkp Apr 29 '19 at 14:40
  • @tkp I don't understand your criticism - my answer mentions that the "wish" is present tense. – Astralbee Apr 29 '19 at 14:50
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The correct form is:

I wish I knew who you were.

Three points:

  1. There is no need for a question mark in normal use. It’s an assertion about your state of mind, not a question about their name (even if your underlying intent is indeed to ask them to remind you of their name).
  2. Your original “knew” is correct. The past tense is used to express subjunctive mood.
  3. It is “you were”, not “you are”. It is a wish sentence involving the verb “to be”, and that is almost always expressed with “were”.

You can find more details on this and other aspects of the Subjunctive Mood, here. An example very similar to yours is given about halfway down.

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0

I wish I knew who you are? Is the above sentence correct?

The sentence is incorrect by mixing the tenses of 'knew' and 'are', and it is not a question. If you are stating that you wish to know somebody, which is not a question, then you would say, "I would like to know you." "I wish I know you" is incorrect.

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-2

"I wish I knew who you are" is grammatical.

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  • This is incorrect both in content and grammatical form. The grammar would be fixed by adding a period after the word “are”, and then enclosing everything from the beginning up to and including that period in quotes. – tkp Apr 29 '19 at 14:34
  • You will find that brief answers are discouraged by this community. I would suggest that you add some punctuation to your answer to make it more clear and explain why the sentence is grammatical or correct. You might also talk about the subjunctive version, 'I wish I knew who you were.', since that is the mood the sentence takes. – dwilli May 6 '19 at 5:33

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