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If I say, "How did she knew about it?" Would it be correct? If you use search engine for "did knew", you get hundred thousand results. Are they incorrect? I'm confused about this grammar structure.

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closed as general reference by RegDwigнt May 5 '12 at 12:50

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
"did knew" can show up in grammatical English sentences. For example, "Most people refused to talk about it, and those who did knew little." Most of the search results in Google books are of this form. –  Peter Shor May 5 '12 at 14:18
    
@RegDwight ΒВBẞ8: My last question was deleted immediately before I could read the comments. Can you let me know what they were? –  user102341 May 5 '12 at 14:19
    
@PeterShor: Can you please provide me a reference to the usage? –  user102341 May 5 '12 at 14:21
    
The above sentence means "Most people refused to talk about it, and those (people) who did (talk about) it knew little (about it)." That is, there is a noun phrase "those who did" followed by the past tense verb "knew". So here, the verb "did" comes from "did talk" by ellipsis, and is unconnected to the verb "knew". Don't rely upon counts from search engines without checking them carefully. –  Peter Shor May 5 '12 at 14:26
    
@PeterShor: Why does "How did she knew about it?" isn't acceptable or why doesn't it sound right? I know its because the grammar rules but I don't understand it in practice. Can you throw some light on this please? –  user102341 May 5 '12 at 14:46

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

No, it is incorrect. The sentence should read "How did she know about it?", although probably the sentence "How did she get to know about it?" would sound more natural.

I think you should look the structure up in a common grammar book.

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What about "How did that women knew about him"? is it still not right? –  user102341 May 5 '12 at 5:22
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No, this sentence is almost the same as your original one - it isn't correct either. In questions main verbs are used as infinitives without to (know, not knew). –  serge.karalenka May 5 '12 at 5:42

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