“I didn't realize that you were on a first-name basis.”

English Lesson: I didn't realize that you were on a first-name basis.

You're talking with a friend who's in the same class as you. She's talking about your teacher, but uses his first name instead of calling him by his last name. You're surprised.

I didn't realize that you were on a first-name basis.

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I didn't realize (clause)

"I didn't realize ___" means "I didn't notice ___" or "I didn't know ___".

You use this phrase to explain why you did something in the recent past. For example, imagine that you were in the bathroom for a long time. When you finally come out, your roommate is waiting outside of the bathroom and looks angry at you. You can say:

Oh, I didn't realize you needed to use it.

"I didn't realize" is followed by a clause, which is like a sentence inside of another sentence. Sometimes the clause can begin with "that":

I didn't realize that she had gotten laid off. If I had, i wouldn't have made those comments.

But it's often left off in casual speech:

Hey! I didn't realize you were in town!

(some people) are on a first-name basis

When people in English-speaking countries get to know each other well, they often start to call each other by each other's first names. People who use each other's first names are "on a first name basis".

If someone calls a person like a teacher, a political figure, a celebrity, etc. by their first name, you can tease this person:

Oh, are you on a first name basis now?