Which is correct? `My wife knows well that I can’t sing’ or `My wife knows that I can’t sing well’?

Both sentences are grammatically acceptable, but they don’t have the same meaning. The first sentence suggests that your wife knows that you cannot sing. There is no doubt in her mind that you are not a singer. The second sentence suggests that your wife knows that you can sing — but not very well. In this case, you are a singer, but not a good one.

* You know well that I don’t play tennis. (You know that I don’t play tennis at all.)
* You know that I don’t play tennis well. (I can play tennis, but I am not very good at it.)

Source: ‘Know Your English’ (The Hindu) – September 18, 2006.

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