Meaning of KNOW in English

(~s, ~ing, knew, ~n)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


If you ~ a fact, a piece of information, or an answer, you have it correctly in your mind.

I don’t ~ the name of the place...

‘People like doing things for nothing.’—‘I ~ they do.’...

I don’t ~ what happened to her husband...

‘How did he meet your mother?’—‘I don’t ~.’...

We all ~ about his early experiments in flying...

They looked younger than I knew them to be...

It is not ~n whether the bomb was originally intended for the capital itself...

It’s always been ~n that key figures in the government do very well for themselves.

VERB: no cont, V n, V that, V wh, V, V about n/-ing, V n to-inf, it be V-ed wh, it be V-ed that


If you ~ someone, you are familiar with them because you have met them and talked to them before.

Gifford was a friend. I’d ~n him for nine years...

Do you two ~ each other?...

VERB: no cont, V n, V n


If you say that you ~ of something, you mean that you have heard about it but you do not necessarily have a lot of information about it.

We ~ of the incident but have no further details...

I ~ of no one who would want to murder Albert.

VERB: no cont, V of n, V of n


If you ~ about a subject, you have studied it or taken an interest in it, and understand part or all of it.

Hire someone with experience, someone who ~s about real estate...

She didn’t ~ anything about music but she liked to sing.

VERB: no cont, V about n, V amount about n


If you ~ a language, you have learned it and can understand it.

It helps to ~ French and Creole if you want to understand some of the lyrics...

VERB: no cont, V n


If you ~ something such as a place, a work of art, or an idea, you have visited it, seen it, read it, or heard about it, and so you are familiar with it.

No matter how well you ~ Paris, it is easy to get lost...

VERB: no cont, V n


If you ~ how to do something, you have the necessary skills and ~ledge to do it.

The health authorities now ~ how to deal with the disease...

We ~ what to do to make it work.

VERB: no cont, V wh to-inf, V wh to-inf


You can say that someone ~s that something is happening when they become aware of it.

Then I saw a gun under the hall table so I knew that something was wrong...

The first I knew about it was when I woke up in the ambulance.

VERB: no cont, V that, V about n


If you ~ something or someone, you recognize them when you see them or hear them.

Would she ~ you if she saw you on the street?...

VERB: no cont, V n


If someone or something is ~n as a particular name, they are called by that name.

The disease is more commonly ~n as Mad Cow Disease...

He was born as John Birks Gillespie, but everyone knew him as Dizzy...

He was the only boy in the school who was ~n by his Christian name and not his surname.

...British Nuclear Fuels, otherwise ~n as BNFL.

VERB: no cont, be V-ed as n, V n as n, V n by n, V-ed


If you ~ someone or something as a person or thing that has particular qualities, you consider that they have those qualities.

Lots of people ~ her as a very kind woman...

VERB: V n as n


see also ~ing , ~n


If you talk about a thing or system as we ~ it, you are referring to the form in which it exists now and which is familiar to most people.

He planned to end the welfare system as we ~ it.



If you get to ~ someone, you find out what they are like by spending time with them.

The new neighbours were getting to ~ each other...

PHRASE: get inflects, PHR n


People use expressions such as goodness ~s, Heaven ~s, and God ~s when they do not ~ something and want to suggest that nobody could possibly ~ it. (INFORMAL)

‘Who’s he?’—‘God ~s.’

PHRASE: PHR as reply, PHR wh


You say ‘I ~’ to show that you agree with what has just been said.

‘This country is so awful.’—‘I ~, I ~.’



You say ‘I ~’ to show that you accept that something is true, but think that it is not very important or relevant.

‘There are trains straight from Cambridge.’—‘I ~, but it’s no quicker.’



You use ‘I ~’ to express sympathy and understanding towards someone.

I ~ what you’re going through.

PHRASE: PHR wh/that


You can use I don’t ~ to indicate that you do not completely agree with something or do not really think that it is true.

‘He should quite simply resign.’—‘I don’t ~ about that.’

PHRASE: usu PHR about n, PHR that


You can say ‘I don’t ~ about you’ to indicate that you are going to give your own opinion about something and you want to find out if someone else feels the same.

I don’t ~ about the rest of you, but I’m hungry...

PHRASE: PHR but cl


You use I don’t ~ in expressions which indicate criticism of someone’s behaviour. For example, if you say that you do not ~ how someone can do something, you mean that you cannot understand or accept them doing it.

I don’t ~ how he could do this to his own daughter...

PHRASE: PHR wh disapproval


People sometimes use expressions such as I’m blessed if I ~ or damned if I ~ to emphasize the fact that they do not ~ something. (INFORMAL)

‘What was that all about?’—‘Darned if I ~.’

PHRASE: oft PHR as reply, PHR wh emphasis


If you are in the ~ about something, especially something that is not ~n about or understood by many people, you have information about it.

It was gratifying to be in the ~ about important people...

PHRASE: usu v-link PHR


You can use expressions such as you ~ what I mean and if you ~ what I mean to suggest that the person listening to you understands what you are trying to say, and so you do not have to explain any more. (SPOKEN)

None of us stayed long. I mean, the atmosphere wasn’t–well, you ~ what I mean...



You say ‘You never ~’ or ‘One never ~s’ to indicate that it is not definite or certain what will happen in the future, and to suggest that there is some hope that things will turn out well.

You never ~, I might get lucky...

CONVENTION vagueness


You say ‘Not that I ~ of’ when someone has asked you whether or not something is true and you think the answer is ‘no’ but you cannot be sure because you do not ~ all the facts.

‘Is he married?’—‘Not that I ~ of.’

CONVENTION vagueness


You can use expressions such as What does she ~? and What do they ~? when you think that someone has no right to comment on a situation because they do not understand it.

Don’t listen to him, what does he ~?...

PHRASE: oft PHR about n disapproval


You use you ~ to emphasize or to draw attention to what you are saying. (SPOKEN)

The conditions in there are awful, you ~...

You ~, it does worry me.



You use you ~ when you are trying to explain more clearly what you mean, by referring to something that the person you are talking to ~s about. (SPOKEN)

Wear the white dress, you ~, the one with all the black embroidery.



You can say ‘You don’t ~’ in order to emphasize how strongly you feel about the remark you are going to make. (SPOKEN)

You don’t ~ how good it is to speak to somebody from home.

PHRASE: PHR wh emphasis


to ~ best: see best

to ~ better: see better

to ~ no bounds: see bound

to ~ something for a fact: see fact

as far as I ~: see far

not to ~ the first thing about something : see first

to ~ full well: see full

to let someone ~: see let

not to ~ the meaning of the word: see meaning

to ~ your own mind: see mind

to ~ the ropes: see rope

Collins COBUILD.      Толковый словарь английского языка для изучающих язык Коллинз COBUILD (международная база данных языков Бирмингемского университета) .