3 phrasal verbs with "Know"

3 phrasal verbs with "Know"

By Alena Lien, 

18 December 2020

Click below to get more information on each phrasal verb.



Know about



This is not really a phrasal verb - "about" is used as a preposition to refer to a subject. This is included to explain how this is properly used and to differentiate from "know from" and "know of."



1.   To be knowledgeable about, familiar with, or understand a subject.



  • "What does Google know about me?"



+  Quantifiers - like "something," "anything," "a little," etc.


  • "I know something about gardening."

  • "He really doesn't know much about dating."




2.   To be aware of someone or something.


Usually this is used to refer to an issue or concern.



  • "I'm sure our boss knows about all the toilet paper you've been stealing."

  • "I don't know why she hasn't left yet. She's known about the mistress for a while now."




Know (sb or sth) from (sb or sth)



-   To understand the difference between two people or things.

 

"From" as a preposition indicates a distinction or to show a difference between two people or things.


 

  • "I know I make mistakes but I know right from wrong."

  • "Eve drove me to work the other day. I'm not sure she knows the brake pedal from the accelerator."




"Tell from" vs "Know from"

 

"Tell sb/sth from sb/sth" means to recognise the difference between two people or things.

 

Although they are similar and are often used interchangeably, using "know" usually implies a better knowledge and understanding of the subject.

 


  • "Most people can't tell red wine from white wine in a blind taste test."

  • "Most people wouldn't know red wine from white wine in a blind taste test."





Know of (sb or sth)



This is similar to the phrasal verb, "hear of."



1.   To be aware of someone or something.


 

  • "Do you know of any good mechanic nearby?"

  • "I only know of one other person who's a teddy bear surgeon."




"Know about" vs "Know of"

 

"Know about" implies what and how much you know about somebody or something, and usually refers to subjects or issues.


"Know of" implies whether you have heard of or know that somebody or something exists.



  • "Do you know (anything) about the incident at the park?"

This is asking what you know about the incident.


  • "Do you know of the incident at the park?"

This is asking if you have heard of the incident or know that an incident occurred.




2.   To know someone or something without any direct contact or experience with them or it.


 

  • "Do you know Wally?"

  •       "No, but I know of him. He was the department head before I joined."




"Know" vs "Know of"


"Know" can mean to have information or to be familiar with a person or place.



When referring to information, "know" and "know of" are interchangeable.


  • "Do you know any good mechanic nearby?"

  • "Do you know of any good mechanic nearby?"


  • "I know a good mechanic I can recommend."

  • "I know of a good mechanic I can recommend."



When referring to familiarity, "know" and "know of" are not interchangeable.

 

  • "I know Wally."

This implies I know him well or I am familiar with him.

 

  • "I know of Wally."

This implies I have heard of him and have had no direct contact or experience with him.



However, when it comes to questions about familiarity, "heard of" is often used instead of "know of."

 

  • "Do you know Wally?"

This is asking if you are familiar with Wally.


  • "Have you heard of Wally?"

This is asking if you are aware of a person called Wally.





Related Expressions



"Not that I know of" - (idiom) used for answering that you think something is true, but you are not completely certain.



  • "Do you know if he's married?"

  •       "Not that I know of."




"Get to know someone or something" - (expression) to take the time to be familiar with someone or something.



  • "It's a good idea to get to know each other first before taking the next step in a relationship."




"I don't know about you but..." - (informal expression) to express your opinion, decision or suggestion when you're not sure the person you're talking to will feel the same way.



  • "I don't know about you but I'm glad 2020 is almost over."