I am not able to frame a question, but here is the situation: in your family your father is doubting your knowledge and he is asking you very simple questions.

I want to reply him by saying why would I not know such a simple thing. It is very easy. So is this sentence grammatically correct?

"Why would I not know?"

I want to understand the grammar behind this. This is the only question I want to answer. I have already tried but not been able to portray it.

  • could you format this a bit better, I have read it a few times and am finding it very difficult to understand. If you want a new line I need to add a blank line between the paragraphs (just in case you didn't know).
    – WendyG
    Feb 13, 2018 at 13:13
  • thanks wendy for putting an extra effort for me.i am not able to frame a statement in my mind and i told about the situtation where i want to speak in english but couldnt as i dont know whether it is grammatically correct or not. The meaning behind the statement is that " i know this obviously as its very easy and i am asking this question to my father that why would i not know a silly and very easy thing so can i say "why would i not know"
    – pinnacle
    Feb 13, 2018 at 13:24
  • You do realize, I hope, that the title is different from your solution in the question body. Why is that?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 13, 2018 at 13:45
  • Thank you for helping me and editing my question.I was confused whether to write "how" or "why". But i meant the same thing which is given in the solution.As when you speak in English, Hindi Speaking people first think in Hindi and then translate it in English that creates confusion. In Hindi the word" Kyun " and "Kaise" both can be used for this question,Kyun means Why and Kaise means How.I hope you understand!
    – pinnacle
    Feb 13, 2018 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


Why would I not know? is a perfectly good sentence. So is Why would I not know such a simple thing?

How would I not know anything? is grammatical, but reads a little oddly, because not know anything normally means know nothing, and it seems a little unlikely that you would be asking that - not impossible, though.

Perhaps you mean How would I not know something? In the scope of a negative, any[thing] is total, but some[thing] implies some particular thing.

  • Thank you Mr.Colin! Next time i will try to frame my question in a better way.
    – pinnacle
    Feb 13, 2018 at 14:12
  • For second person, it seems to me that How would you not know that? is a somewhat less idiomatic version of How could you not know that? - invariably a rhetorical question expressing surprise / disappointment that addressee was unaware of something. Using why doesn't work at all with could there, but Why would you not know it? sounds more like a genuine enquiry (albeit weirdly context-sensitive, as in probing whether a person in high authority might have been aiming for "plausible deniability"). Feb 13, 2018 at 14:12
  • I'd also add that Why wouldn't I know that? is a perfectly natural contracted / re-ordered version (as a rhetorical question), but How wouldn't I know that? sounds exceptionally unlikely. Feb 13, 2018 at 14:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.