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For all I know, he left last night Options
raymondaliasapollyon
Posted: Friday, November 20, 2020 6:57:35 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/14/2020
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Hi,

Are the following sentences both correct? If so, is there any difference? "For all I know" already indicates something is uncertain.

For all I know, he left last night.

For all I know, he might have left last night.
FounDit
Posted: Friday, November 20, 2020 7:24:16 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,955
Neurons: 71,499
raymondaliasapollyon wrote:
Hi,

Are the following sentences both correct? If so, is there any difference? "For all I know" already indicates something is uncertain.

For all I know, he left last night.

For all I know, he might have left last night.


Yes, both might be said.
raymondaliasapollyon
Posted: Friday, November 20, 2020 8:28:39 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/14/2020
Posts: 310
Neurons: 1,903
Thank you.

Is there any practical difference between the two?
georgew
Posted: Friday, November 20, 2020 10:16:14 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/13/2016
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Location: Calabasas, California, United States
raymondaliasapollyon wrote:
Thank you.

Is there any practical difference between the two?


The two are common and equivalent.

Fir Wa
Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2020 3:51:21 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/30/2018
Posts: 39
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Location: Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
raymondaliasapollyon wrote:
Thank you.

Is there any practical difference between the two?



there is a slight difference in emphasis between both sentences; in the second sentence the speaker is not as much sure as in the first one.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2020 7:19:44 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
In the way I use this type of phrase, the first would be unusual. "For all I know" is usually (not always) connected with the word "could".
For all I know, he could be a Martian.
They could be here already for all I know.

As Fir Wa says, there does seem to be slightly less uncertainty in the first one - but it's very slight.

I'm used to two sentences like these:

For all I know, he might have left last night. For all I know, he could have left last night. These mean almost exactly the same - I have no data on the subject, but from my 'general knowledge', I'd say it's possible that he might have left last night.

As far as I know, he left last night.
- I have a little data on the subject (he said earlier that he'd leave last night; I haven't seen him today) but I have no first-hand knowledge. I didn't see him go. From the little data I have, it's an 'educated guess' that he left last night.

An 'educated guess' is not necessarily true, but it is quite a bit more probable than just a vague possibility.
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