Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

“it” after the word “known”

This is what I’d like to have engraved on a memorial brick, but the last line doesn’t look correct with the word “it” after “known”.

I’m glad most
folks let me know
they’re religious.
By their actions,
I wouldn’t have
ever known it.

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Comments

Personally, I would go for "I wouldn't ever have known."

But it's pretty subjective, really.

A purist would say, "I wouldn't ever have known it," on account of the split infinitive in the original (HAVE [ever] KNOWN].

Dave_Rattigan Feb-08-2009

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You could go with "I wouldn't have ever known so", as well.

Mongoose Feb-08-2009

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"have ever known" is not a split infinitive. There's no infinitive here.

"I wouldn't have ever known it" sounds fine to me.

John4 Feb-08-2009

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"I wouldn't have ever known it" sounds fine to me, too. That's probably since the phrase, "I wouldn't have known it" is a fairly common one. I am not one to quibble about splitting up verbs from the objects they work upon. Always seemed to me to be a rule that led to awkward-sounding results. Apparently came from some purists' idealism of Latin being applied to, of all things, English. I think your text is not only grammatically fine, but it's a great sentiment. Well-stated, symmetrical and a sort of poetry.

John_Kelly Feb-08-2009

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teamcasino Feb-09-2009

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"Known it" sounds strange to me too, even if it works. The "it" seems to put too fine a point on the knowledge of someone's belief system, traditions, and affiliation. The word "that" actually seems more appropriate than "it" but I would certainly drop it in favor of the more poetic "I wouldn't have ever known."

I must point out however, because I'm self-absorbed enough to assume you care what I think, that the entire statement makes no sense.

Bill1 Feb-11-2009

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"It" is superfluous. It adds no meaning, takes up space, and so should be omitted. I agree that "it" is correct, but it's unnecessary.

It's not an infinitive, by the way. :)

Steeeverino Feb-16-2009

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@ bill

the statement she is making breaks down to the following: if the people she [victoria] met in her life had never brought up the fact that they were religious, she [victoria] would never have been able to deduce said religious affiliation through their [the people she met in her life] actions.

capiche?

i do agree that the last line sounds better without the final 'it'

steven_tyler Mar-01-2009

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I would have written "I would never have known"
To write ;- " wouldn't ever" is to make the sentence over complicated. Never means not ever and the it is superflous to the sense of the sentence.

TC Mar-02-2009

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