grammatical expression: little did (I) know


For today, I want to go over the expression “little did I know”. We can also change the word “I” to other words such as “he”, “she”, “we”, etc. We use this when we want to talk about a person who doesn’t know an important piece of information about a situation, but they find out about it after it’s too late. Here are some ways to use it in sentences.

I bought my house last year. Little did I know that the real estate market would drop so much. I wish I had waited.

We invested money in ABC Company. Little did we know they would go bankrupt. I wish we had invested in another company.

My sister really regrets marrying her husband. Little did she know when she married him that he would cheat on her all the time. She’s filing for divorce now.

My brother and his wife recently moved to a city on the coast. Little did they know there would be so many mosquitoes there in the summer. I hope they’re ok.

With this expression, the information that the person didn’t know about is always negative. The idea is that if they had known that information before, they would have made a different choice. Therefore, this is a way to express regret for a bad choice in the past.

We use “would” + verb to explain the negative situation after “little did (I) know”.

Please note that we can use the word “that” to link “little did (I) know” to the next sentence, but this is optional. If we omit it, the sentence still makes sense.


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