knows, knowing, knew, known
1) VERB: no cont If you know a fact, a piece of information, or an answer, you have it correctly in your mind.

[V n] I don't know the name of the place...

[V that] I know that you led a rifle platoon during the Second World War...

[V that] `People like doing things for nothing.' - `I know they do.'...

[V wh] I don't know what happened to her husband...

`How did he meet your mother?' - `I don't know.'...

[V about n/-ing] We all know about his early experiments in flying...

[V n to-inf] They looked younger than I knew them to be...

[V n to-inf] Radon is known to be harmful to humans in large quantities...

[it be V-ed wh] It is not known whether the bomb was originally intended for the capital itself...

[it be V-ed that] It's always been known that key figures in the government do very well for themselves.

2) VERB: no cont If you know someone, you are familiar with them because you have met them and talked to them before.

[V n] Gifford was a friend. I'd known him for nine years...

[V n] Do you two know each other?...

[V n] He doesn't know anybody in London.

3) VERB: no cont If you say that you know of something, you mean that you have heard about it but you do not necessarily have a lot of information about it.

[V of n] We know of the incident but have no further details...

[V of n] He said he did not know of any specific terrorist threat...

[V of n] I know of no one who would want to murder Albert.

4) VERB: no cont If you know about a subject, you have studied it or taken an interest in it, and understand part or all of it.

[V about n] Hire someone with experience, someone who knows about real estate...

[V amount about n] She didn't know anything about music but she liked to sing.

5) VERB: no cont If you know a language, you have learned it and can understand it.

[V n] It helps to know French and Creole if you want to understand some of the lyrics...

[V n] Rachel already knows as many words in German as she does in English...

[V n] Her new classmates knew no Latin.

6) VERB: no cont If you know 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.

[V n] I don't know whether you know Birmingham well...

[V n] I don't know the play, I've just come to see it.

7) VERB: no cont If you know how to do something, you have the necessary skills and knowledge to do it.

[V wh-to-inf] The health authorities now know how to deal with the disease...

[V wh-to-inf] We know what to do to make it work.

8) VERB: no cont You can say that someone knows that something is happening when they become aware of it.

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

[V about n] The first I knew about it was when I woke up in the ambulance.

9) VERB: no cont If you know something or someone, you recognize them when you see them or hear them.

[V n] Would she know you if she saw you on the street?...

[V n] I thought I knew the voice.

10) VERB: no cont If someone or something is known as a particular name, they are called by that name.

[be V-ed as n] The disease is more commonly known as Mad Cow Disease...

[V n as n] He was born as John Birks Gillespie, but everyone knew him as Dizzy...

[V n by n] He was the only boy in the school who was known by his Christian name and not his surname.

[V-ed] ...British Nuclear Fuels, otherwise known as BNFL.

11) VERB If you know someone or something as a person or thing that has particular qualities, you consider that they have those qualities.

[V n as n] Lots of people know her as a very kind woman...

[V n as n] We know them as inaccurate and misleading property descriptions...

[V n for n] Kemp knew him for a meticulous officer.

12) VERB If you know someone as a person with a particular job or role, you are familiar with them in that job or role, rather than in any other.

[V n as n] Most of us know her as the woman who used to present the television news...

[V n as n] The soldiers - all of whom we knew as neighbours - stood around pointing guns at us.

13) See also , known
14) PHRASE: n PHR If you talk about a thing or system as we know 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 know it.

...those values of our culture that are essential to civilisation as we know it.

15) PHRASE: get inflects, PHR n If you get to know someone, you find out what they are like by spending time with them.

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

I'd really like to see you again and get to know you better.

16) PHRASE: PHR as reply, PHR wh People use expressions such as goodness knows, Heaven knows, and God knows when they do not know something and want to suggest that nobody could possibly know it. [INFORMAL]

`Who's he?' - `God knows.'...

Old Gunga spoke God knows how many languages...

Heaven only knows what his mother would have said.

17) CONVENTION You say `I know' to show that you agree with what has just been said.

`This country is so awful.' - `I know, I know.'

18) CONVENTION You say `I know' 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 know, but it's no quicker.'

19) PHRASE: PHR wh/that You use `I know' to express sympathy and understanding towards someone.

I'm sorry, George. I know how you feel...

I know what you're going through.

20) PHRASE: usu PHR about n, PHR that You can use I don't know 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 know about that.'...

I don't know that it's made the decision any easier.

21) PHRASE: PHR but cl You can say `I don't know 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 know about the rest of you, but I'm hungry...

I don't know about you, but I've had just about enough of this.

22) PHRASE: PHR wh (disapproval) You use I don't know in expressions which indicate criticism of someone's behaviour. For example, if you say that you do not know how someone can do something, you mean that you cannot understand or accept them doing it.

I don't know how he could do this to his own daughter...

I don't know how you can say that...

I don't know what those folk think they are playing at.

23) PHRASE: oft PHR as reply, PHR wh (emphasis) People sometimes use expressions such as I'm blessed if I know or damned if I know to emphasize the fact that they do not know something. [INFORMAL]

`What was that all about?' - `Darned if I know.'...

I'm damned if I know what plans he has in that direction.

24) PHRASE: usu v-link PHR If you are in the know about something, especially something that is not known about or understood by many people, you have information about it.

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

He takes crucial decisions without consulting people in the know.

25) CONVENTION You can use expressions such as you know what I mean and if you know 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.

None of us stayed long. I mean, the atmosphere wasn't - well, you know what I mean...

She was a bit stuck up, know what I mean?

26) CONVENTION (vagueness) You say `You never know' or `One never knows' 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 know, I might get lucky...

There might be an even bigger one - I doubt it, but you never know.

27) CONVENTION (vagueness) You say `Not that I know 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 know all the facts.

`Is he married?' - `Not that I know of.'

28) PHRASE: oft PHR cl, PHR wh You can say `How was I to know?', or in British English `I wasn't to know', to mean that you cannot be blamed or criticized for something you did, because you did not have enough information to realize that it was wrong.

How was I to know you'd return so suddenly?...

You weren't to know - in fact, I think I'm the only person who does know.

29) PHRASE: oft PHR about n (disapproval) You can use expressions such as What does she know? and What do they know? 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 know?...

I always felt his attitude was, `What do you know about it?'

30) EXCLAM (feelings) People sometimes say `What do you know!' when they are very surprised about something. [INFORMAL]

Well, what do you know!

31) CONVENTION (emphasis) You use you know to emphasize or to draw attention to what you are saying. [SPOKEN]

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

You know, it does worry me.

32) CONVENTION People use you know when they are uncertain about what they are saying or what they are going to say next. [SPOKEN]

He's generous and, you know, very nice, very polite...

I thought I'd, you know, have a chat with you.

33) CONVENTION You use you know when you are trying to explain more clearly what you mean, by referring to something that the person you are talking to knows about. [SPOKEN]

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

34) PHRASE: PHR wh (emphasis) You can say `You don't know' in order to emphasize how strongly you feel about the remark you are going to make. [SPOKEN]

You don't know how good it is to speak to somebody from home.

35) to know something backwardssee backwards
to know bestsee best
to know bettersee better
to know no boundssee bound
to know what side your bread is buttered onsee butter
to know something for a factsee fact
as far as I knowsee far
not to know the first thing about something → see first
to know full wellsee full
to let someone knowsee let
not to know the meaning of the wordsee meaning
to know your own mindsee mind
for reasons best known to oneself → see reason
to know the ropessee rope

English dictionary. 2008.

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