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  5. "Ξέρω τι είχες κάνει."

"Ξέρω τι είχες κάνει."

Translation:I know what you had done.

October 30, 2016



I know this order of tenses could exist in English, but it looks so odd standing alone. The only context I could see for this would be something like "I know what you had done. Now, tell me what you did at that time."


Even that sounds a bit awkward to me. "I knew what you had done" would be a better English sentence grammatically for this exercise.


Honestly, if I just saw this sentence standing alone, I would simply translate it "I know what you did." Greek clearly uses a perfect where we would use a simple past.


"I knew what you had done" is in no way superior to "I know what you had done". They simply mean different things. The former means you knew at some time in the past what they did at some time in the past before some other time in the past. The latter means you know now what they did at at some time in the past before some other time in the past.

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That's right and for that reason the correct translation is:

"I know what you had done."


I also think it would be more grammatically correct a translation in English if it were, "I know what you HAVE done."


"I know what you HAVE done" would be a different tense: Ξέρω τι ΕΧΕΙΣ κάνει with έχεις, not είχες.


What is the difference between ξέρω τι έχεις κάνει and ξέρω τι έκανες, if any?


(It's off topic here, but the question just surfaced as I started this lesson)


Is κάνει second person singular? I would have expected κάνεις.


In this sentence, κάνει is the απαρέμφατο form -- perhaps "past participle" is closest as that's the form used in English for form the present perfect and past perfect tenses (but there's a separate passive past participle form in Greek).

The απαρέμφατο is invariable like e.g. "done" in English, and the είχες shows the person and number.

The απαρέμφατο looks like the third person singular of the aorist subjunctive (e.g. the form used after αυτός θα ....).


is this also possible: ξέρω ότι είχες κάνει


is this also possible: ξέρω ότι είχες κάνει

No. That would be "I know that you had done".

(But it doesn't say what you had done. The sentence sounds incomplete to me, in either language.)


Εχεις means have, ειχες means had. Thank you, mizinamo.

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