To know is to have an idea, understanding, or information about something. This is a very common verb in English.
These sentences and questions are in the present tense:
- How many people do you know in your class?
- Do you know what the capital of Belgium is?
- Tony knows how to speak Spanish.
- Vera doesn’t know the answer to the question.
- The leaders of the city know what they want to do.
- Not much is known about how the fire started. (This sentence is in the present tense, passive voice.)
These sentences and questions are in the past tense:
- When Chen lived in Shanghai, he knew everyone on his street.
- Did you know there was going to be a test today?
- No one knew what to do for the man having the heart attack.
- We didn’t know Shamso came from such a big family. (Now we know.)
- I knew that was going to happen. I just knew it.
These sentences and questions are in perfect tenses:
- Pedro and George have known each other since they were six years old. (present perfect tense)
- How long have you known about their relationship? (present perfect tense)
- Reena had never known who her birth mother was until just recently. (past perfect tense)
The word "know" is used with infinitives and gerunds:
- We need to know more about what happened.
- I want to know how to fix this.
- Do you want to know the answer?
- Knowing how to speak another language is a good skill.
- Knowing that you have a problem is an important step towards dealing with it.
- Knowing you are about to die can be a difficult experience for some people but a blessing for others.
The word "know" shows up in a few different expressions:
- Well, what do you know? (The meaning depends on the situation. Sometimes it means I’m surprised! or it can mean I’m not surprised. You have to listen to the way a person’s voice sounds.)
- She’s such a know-it-all. (She thinks she’s so smart and people dislike that.)
- We were never in the know. (No one told us about this situation. It was secret.)
- It’s been nice knowing you. (I’m never going to see you again. Good-bye.)
Note: The verb "know" is one of those verbs that is not ordinarily used in a continuous form. For example: "I am knowing many people," sounds very strange. It’s better to say, "I know many people." However, the word "knowing" is used as a gerund.
To learn more about the verb "know" click here.
To learn about a related word, "knowledge," click here.
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February 11, 2015