verb (knows, knowing, knew /, has known )
1 to have information in your head:
I don't know her name.
He knows a lot about cars.
Do you know how to use this machine?
Did you know that he's going to live abroad?
2 to be familiar with a person or place:
I have known Mario for six years.
I know Paris quite well.
I liked him when I got to know him (= started to know him).
I know (informal) used to agree with something somebody has just said:
'What a ridiculous situation!' 'I know.'
let somebody know to tell somebody about something:
Let me know if you need any help.
you know words that you use when you are thinking about what to say next:
Well, you know, it's hard to explain.
I. know1 S1 W1 /nəʊ $ noʊ/ BrE AmE verb (past tense knew /njuː $ nuː/, past participle known /nəʊn $ noʊn/)
[Word Family: adjective: knowing, knowledgeable, known ≠ unknown; noun: knowledge, the unknown; adverb: knowingly ≠ unknowingly, knowledgeably; verb: know]
[Language: Old English; Origin: cnawan]
1. HAVE INFORMATION [intransitive, transitive not in progressive] to have information about something:
Who knows the answer?
There are instructions telling you everything you need to know.
Didn’t you know that?
know what/how/where etc
Do you know what time it is?
I don’t know where to go.
know (something/nothing etc) about something
I need to know more about the job before I decide whether to apply for it.
Little is known about the author’s childhood.
I know all about David and what he’s been up to!
know (something/nothing etc) of something
I wonder if he knew of the plan?
Do you know of any good restaurants in the area?
You know nothing of this business.
We know that greenhouse gases can affect the climate.
Let me know (=tell me) what time you’re planning to arrive.
I thought you’d want to know immediately.
If you must know, I was with James last night (=used when you are angry because someone wants to know something).
without somebody/sb’s knowing
He slipped out of the house without his parents knowing (=secretly).
How did he know (=how did he find information about) our names?
as you/we know
‘I’m divorced, as you know,’ she said briefly.
be known to do something
Smoking is known to increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.
2. BE SURE [intransitive, transitive not in progressive] to be sure about something:
‘Are you seeing Jim tomorrow?’ ‘I don’t know yet.’
I know I won’t get the job.
Ruth knew that she couldn’t continue in the relationship for much longer.
know what/why/how etc
I know exactly what you need!
The boy stared at him uncertainly, not knowing whether to believe him.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to come.
She forced herself to go out, knowing that she would feel more depressed if she stayed at home.
How do you know (=what makes you sure) he won’t do it again?
know somebody/something to be something
It’s a story that I know to be true.
I think he’s still living in Chicago, but I don’t know for sure.
As far as I know, they’re arriving on Saturday (=used when you think something is true but are not sure).
I doubt I’ll win, but you never know (=used when you cannot be sure about something, but something good might happen).
3. BE FAMILIAR WITH SOMEBODY/SOMETHING [transitive not in progressive] to be familiar with a person, place etc:
I’ve known her for twenty years.
Are you really thinking of leaving Kevin for a guy you barely know?
Do you know the nightclub on the corner of Maine Street?
I don’t know him very well.
We’re still getting to know each other really.
know somebody from something
I know her from school.
know somebody as something
Many people knew him as a local businessman.
Hepburn is best known for (=people are most likely to be familiar with) her roles in classic films such as ‘My Fair Lady’.
The museum outlines the development of the city as we know it today.
Does he know the way to your house (=know how to get there)?
I grew up here; I know the place like the back of my hand (=I know it very well).
I only know her by sight (=I often see her but have not really spoken to her).
She didn’t know me from Adam (=she did not know me at all), but she was really helpful.
knowing somebody/if I know somebody (=used to say that you expect someone to behave in a particular way because you know them well)
Knowing Sumi, my note’s probably still in her pocket.
He’ll be chatting up the women, if I know Ron!
4. REALIZE [intransitive and transitive] to realize, find out about, or understand something:
Hardly knowing what he was doing, Nick pulled out a cigarette.
She knew the risks involved.
Suddenly she knew that something was terribly wrong.
know how/what/why etc
I didn’t know how difficult it would be.
know to do something
She knows not to tell anyone.
(do you) know what I mean? (=used to ask if someone understands or has the same feeling as you)
It’s nice to have a change sometimes. Know what I mean?
if you know what I mean
Sometimes it’s better not to ask too many questions, if you know what I mean.
‘I just felt so tired.' ‘Yeah, I know what you mean.’ (=I understand, because I have had the same experience).
I should have known it wouldn’t be easy.
I might have known (=I am annoyed but not surprised) you would take that attitude.
I know exactly how you feel.
know perfectly well/full well/only too well
He knew full well that what he was doing was dangerous.
somebody will never know/no one will ever know
Just take it. No one will ever know.
‘That’s not what I mean, and you know it,’ he protested.
if I had known/if I’d have known
I wouldn’t have come if I’d known you were so busy.
Little did she know (=she did not know) that years later she would have her own pool and luxury apartment in Florida.
She knew nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
5. SKILL/EXPERIENCE [transitive not in progressive] to have learned a lot about something or be skilful and experienced at doing something:
I don’t know enough history to make a comparison.
I taught him everything he knows.
I know some French.
know how to do something
Do you know how to change a fuse?
I have a friend who knows about antiques.
Bessie knew nothing about football.
Politicians know all about the power of language.
I don’t know the first thing about (=I know nothing about) looking after children.
I don’t really know what I’m doing (=I do not have enough skill and experience to deal with something) when it comes to cars.
The staff are dedicated people who clearly know what they are talking about.
She knew from experience that exams made her very nervous.
know your job/subject/stuff (=be good at and know all you should about a job or subject)
a decent manager who knows the ropes (=has a lot of experience)
My cousin knows a thing or two (=knows a lot) about golf.
know a song/tune/poem etc (=be able to sing a song, play a tune, say a poem etc because you have learned it)
Do you know all the words to ‘As Time Goes By’?
6. KNOW SB’S QUALITIES [transitive not in progressive] to think that someone has particular qualities
know somebody as something
I knew him as a hard-working, modest, and honest politician.
know somebody for something
In fact, I knew her for a tough-minded young woman.
7. know better
a) to be wise or experienced enough not to do something:
It’s just prejudice from educated people who should know better.
Eva knew better than to interrupt one of Mark’s jokes.
b) to know or think you know more than someone else:
Everyone thought it was an accident. Only Dan knew better.
8. not know any better used to say that someone does something bad or stupid because they have not been told or taught that it is wrong:
Drugs are being sold to children who don’t know any better.
9. know something inside out (also know something backwards British English, know something backwards and forwards American English) to be very familiar with something, especially because you have learned about it or because you have a lot of experience:
Erikson knows the game inside out.
10. know your way around something
a) to be so familiar with something that you are confident and good at using it:
She knows her way around a wine list.
b) to be familiar with a place so that you know where things are:
I don’t know my way around the city yet.
11. make yourself known (to somebody) formal to introduce yourself to someone:
After she had gone, Paul made himself known to Dr Heatherton.
12. RECOGNIZE [transitive] to be able to recognize someone or something:
Honestly, it had been so long, I hardly knew her.
know somebody/something by something
He looked very different, but I knew him by his voice.
13. know somebody/something as something to have a particular name:
The main street between the castle and the palace is known as ‘the Royal Mile’.
Nitrous oxide is commonly known as laughing gas.
14. know something from something to understand the difference between one thing and another:
Lloyd doesn’t even know his right from his left.
At what age do children start to know right from wrong?
15. EXPERIENCE [transitive] to have experience of a particular feeling or situation:
I don’t think he ever knew true happiness.
I know all about being poor.
I’ve never known (=have never experienced) this to happen in all the time I’ve worked here.
I’ve never known him to shout (=he never shouts).
16. somebody/something is not known to be something or somebody/something has never been known to do something used to say there is no information that someone or something has particular qualities:
This species is not known to be vicious.
17. I’ve known somebody/something to do something or somebody/something has been known to do something used to say that someone does something sometimes or that something happens sometimes, even if it is unusual:
People have been known to drive 500 miles just to visit the shop.
This type of fish has been known to live for 10 years or more.
• • •
18. you know
a) used to emphasize a statement:
There’s no excuse, you know.
b) used to make sure that someone understands what you are saying:
I felt very upset, you know?
c) used when you want to keep someone’s attention, but cannot think of what to say next:
Well, you know, we’ve got a job to do here.
d) used when you are explaining or describing something and want to give more information:
That flower in the garden – you know, the purple one – what is it?
19. you know/do you know used to start talking about something, or make someone listen:
You know, I sometimes feel I don’t know him at all.
Do you know, when I went out this morning that man was still there.
(do) you know what/something?
You know what? I think he’s lonely.
20. I know
a) used to agree with someone or to say that you feel the same way:
‘We have to talk about it, Rob.’ ‘Yeah, I know.’
b) used to say that you have suddenly had an idea, thought of a solution to a problem etc:
I know! Let’s go out for a meal on your birthday.
c) used to stop someone from interrupting because they have an opinion about what you are saying:
It sounds silly, I know, but I will explain.
I know, I know, I should have had the car checked out before now.
21. I don’t know
a) used to say that you do not have the answer to a question:
‘When did they arrive?’ ‘I don’t know.’
b) used when you are not sure about something:
‘How old do you think he is?’ ‘Oh, I don’t know – sixty, seventy?’
I don’t know what/how/whether etc
I don’t know whether to call him.
I don’t know that
I don’t know that you need a passport for travelling within the EU.
c) used to show that you disagree slightly with what has just been said:
‘I couldn’t live there.’ ‘Oh, I don’t know. It might not be so bad.’
d) British English used to show that you are slightly annoyed:
Oh, I don’t know! You’re hopeless!
22. I don’t know how/why etc used to criticize someone:
I don’t know how people could keep an animal in those conditions.
23. I don’t know about you, but ... used to give your opinion, decision, or suggestion when you are not sure that the person you are talking to will feel the same way:
I don’t know about you, but I’ll be glad when Christmas is over.
24. I don’t know how to thank you/repay you used to thank someone
25. wouldn’t you know (it) used to say that something is not at all surprising:
I was told in no uncertain terms that Helen, wouldn’t you know it, didn’t approve.
26. you don’t know used to emphasize how strong your feelings are:
You don’t know how much I missed him.
27. I wouldn’t know used to say that you do not know the answer to something and that you are not the person who would know
28. what does somebody know? used to say angrily that someone’s opinion is wrong or that it is not important:
What does she know about relationships?
29. how should I know?/how am I to know?/how do I know? used to say that it is not reasonable to expect that you should know something:
‘When will they be back?’ ‘How should I know?’
30. how was I to know?/how did I know? used as an excuse when something bad has happened:
How was I to know that the file was confidential?
31. be not to know British English used to say that you do not mind that someone has made a mistake because they could not have avoided it:
‘Sorry, I didn’t realize you had guests.’ ‘That’s all right – you weren’t to know.’
32. I ought to know used to emphasize that you know about something because you made it, experienced it etc:
‘Are you sure there’s no sugar in this coffee?’ ‘Of course. I ought to know – I made it!’
33. for all I know used to emphasize that you do not know something and say that it is not important to you:
I don’t know where she is. She could have been kidnapped for all I know.
34. not that I know of used to say that you think the answer is ‘no’ but there may be facts that you do not know about:
‘Did he call earlier?’ ‘Not that I know of.’
35. Heaven/God/who/goodness knows!
a) used to say that you do not know the answer to a question:
‘Where do you think he’s disappeared to this time?’ ‘God knows!’
Goodness knows why she didn’t go herself.
b) used to emphasize a statement:
Goodness knows, I’ve never liked the woman, but I didn’t know how bad it would be to work with her.
36. knowing my luck used to say that you expect something bad will happen because you are usually unlucky:
Knowing my luck, the train will be late.
37. (well,) what do you know? used to express surprise:
Well, what do you know? Look who’s here!
38. if you know what’s good for you used to tell someone that they should do something, or something bad will happen:
You’ll keep your mouth shut about this if you know what’s good for you!
39. you know who/what used to talk about someone or something without mentioning their name:
I saw you know who yesterday.
40. there’s no knowing it is impossible to know:
There was no knowing who might have read the letter.
41. let it be known/make it known (that) formal to make sure that people know something, especially by getting someone else to tell them:
Farrar let it be known that he saw nothing wrong with the proposed solutions.
42. not want to know British English informal to not be interested in someone and what they want to say:
She’d approached several model agencies but they just didn’t want to know.
43. know the score informal to understand a situation and all the good and bad features about it:
I knew the score before I started the job.
44. not know what hit you informal to feel shocked and confused because something happens when you are not expecting it to:
Poor man – I don’t think he knew what hit him.
45. know your place used to say that someone understands that they are less important than other people – usually used humorously:
I know my place. I’ll get back to the kitchen!
46. know no bounds formal if a feeling or quality knows no bounds, it is not limited in any way:
His enthusiasm knew no bounds.
47. somebody knows best used to say that someone should be obeyed or that their way of doing things should be accepted because they are experienced:
She always thinks she knows best.
I have always hated the attitude that ‘the doctor knows best’.
48. before you know it used to say that something happens very quickly and when you are not expecting it:
You’ll be home before you know it.
49. know different/otherwise informal to know that the opposite of something is true:
He told people he didn’t care about her, but deep down he knew different.
50. know your own mind to be confident and have firm ideas about what you want and like
51. you will be delighted/pleased etc to know (that) formal used before you give someone information that they will be pleased to hear:
You will be pleased to know that we have accepted your offer.
52. it’s ... , Jim, but not as we know it informal humorous used to say that something is completely different from what we would normally expect something of its type to be:
It’s the blues, Jim, but not as we know it.
⇨ the next thing I/she etc knew at ↑next1(6)
• • •
▪ know to recognize someone or something. Know is often used in everyday English instead of recognize: How do you know that it is real gold? | I know him from somewhere. | I can’t remember his name, but I know his face.
▪ can tell to be able to recognize someone or something: I could tell that it was him by his voice. | Can you tell that it’s not real leather? | It’s difficult to be able to tell them apart (=to recognize that they are different).
II. know2 BrE AmE noun
in the know informal having more information about something than most people:
People in the know say that interest rates will have to rise again soon.
• • •
▪ sure adjective believing that something is definitely true or correct: I’m sure that you’re right. | ‘The car was a BMW’ ‘Are you sure?’ | I’m not sure what the best thing to do is.
▪ certain adjective completely sure. Certain is more formal than sure, and it is very commonly used in writing: The police were certain that they had found the killer. | I think he’s married, but I’m not certain about it.
▪ convinced adjective sure that something is true, even though you cannot prove it: She became convinced that her boyfriend was seeing someone else. | Brown’s wife was convinced of his innocence.
▪ positive adjective especially spoken completely sure that something is true, especially when other people are not sure: She said she was positive that the exam was next Tuesday. | I’m absolutely positive I haven’t made a mistake.
▪ satisfied adjective sure that you know the truth about something that has happened, because you have enough information: The authorities are now satisfied that her death was an accident.
▪ confident adjective sure that something good will happen or that you will achieve something: Doctors are confident that he’ll make a full recovery. | A spokesman said the government was confident of winning the vote.
▪ have no doubt (also be in no doubt) verb phrase to have no doubts in your mind about something: I have no doubt that his story is true. | He was in no doubt about what he should do next.
▪ know verb to have a strong feeling that something is true or correct: I just know that she will love this necklace. | When the phone rang, we knew something terrible must have happened.
know [know knows knew knowing known] verb, noun [nəʊ] [noʊ]
verb (knew [njuː] ; [nuː] known [nəʊn] ; [noʊn] )(not used in the progressive tenses)
1. transitive, intransitive to have information in your mind as a result of experience or because you have learned or been told it
• ~ sth Do you know his address?
• The cause of the fire is not yet known.
• All I know is that she used to work in a bank (= I have no other information about her).
• ~ (that)… I know (that) people's handwriting changes as they get older.
• it is known that… It is widely known that CFCs can damage the ozone layer.
• ~ where, what, etc… I knew where he was hiding.
• I didn't know what he was talking about.
• ~ (of/about sth) ‘You've got a flat tyre.’ ‘I know.’
• ‘What's the answer?’ ‘I don't know.’
• ‘There's no one in.’ ‘ How do you know? ’
• You know about Amanda's baby, don't you?
• I don't know about you, but I'm ready for something to eat.
• I know of at least two people who did the same thing.
• ‘Is anyone else coming?’ ‘ Not that I know of. ’
• ‘Isn't that his car?’ ‘ I wouldn't know./How should I know? ’ (= I don't know and I am not the person you should ask.)
• (informal) ‘What are you two whispering about?’ ‘ You don't want to know ’ (= because you would be shocked or wouldn't approve).
• ~ to do sth Does he know to come here (= that he should come here) first?
• ~ sb/sth to be/do sth We know her to be honest.
• Two women are known to have died.
2. transitive, intransitive to realize, understand or be aware of sth
• ~ (that)… As soon as I walked in the room I knew (that) something was wrong.
• She knew she was dying.
• ~ what, how, etc… I knew perfectly well what she meant.
• I know exactly how you feel.
• ~ (sth) This case is hopeless and he knows it (= although he will not admit it).
• ‘Martin was lying all the time.’ ‘ I should have known.’
3. transitive, intransitive to feel certain about sth
• ~ (that)… He knew (that) he could trust her.
• I know it's here somewhere!
• I know things will turn out all right.
• I don't know that I can finish it by next week.
• I just knew that it was something I wanted to do.
• ~ (sth) ‘You were right— someone's been spreading rumours about you.’ ‘I knew it!’
• ‘She's the worst player in the team.’ ‘Oh, I don't know (= I am not sure that I agree) — she played well yesterday.’
4. transitive ~ sb/sth to be familiar with a person, place, thing, etc
• I've known David for 20 years.
• Do you two know each other (= have you met before)?
• She was a secretary when I first knew her.
• She's very nice when you get to know her.
• Knowing Ben, we could be waiting a long time (= it is typical of him to be late).
• This man is known to the police (= as a criminal).
• I don't know anyone in Oxford.
• I know Paris well.
• Do you know the play (= have you seen or read it before)?
• The new rules could mean the end of football as we know it (= in the form that we are familiar with).
5. transitive, usually passive to think that sb/sth is a particular type of person or thing or has particular characteristics
• ~ sb/sth as sth It's known as the most dangerous part of the city.
• ~ sb/sth for sth She is best known for her work on the human brain.
• ~ sb/sth to be/do sth He's known to be an outstanding physicist.
6. transitive ~ sb/sth as sth usually passive to give sb/sth a particular name or title
• The drug is commonly known as Ecstasy.
• Peter Wilson, also known as ‘the Tiger’
7. transitive ~ sb/sth to be able to recognize sb/sth
• I couldn't see who was speaking, but I knew the voice.
• She knows a bargain when she sees one.
8. transitive ~ sb/sth from sb/sth to be able to distinguish one person or thing from another
• I hope we have taught our children to know right from wrong.
9. transitive to have learned a skill or language and be able to use it
• ~ sth Do you know any Japanese?
• ~ how, what, etc… Do you know how to use spreadsheets?
10. transitive (only used in the perfect tenses) to have seen, heard or experienced sth
• ~ sb/sth (to) do sth I've never known it (to) snow in July before.
• be known to do sth He has been known to spend all morning in the bathroom.
11. transitive ~ sth to have personal experience of sth
• He has known both poverty and wealth.
• She may be successful now, but she has known what it is like to be poor.
more at have/know all the answers at answer n., know/learn/find sth to your own cost at cost n., have seen/known better days at day, better the devil you know (than the devil you don't) at devil, as far as I know at far adv., Lord knowsLord (only) knows (what, where, why etc.) at lord n., old enough to know better at old, have/know sth off pat at pat adv., show sb/know/learn the ropes at rope n., know/tell sb a thing or two (about sb/sth)not know, etc. the first thing about sb/sth at thing, if (the) truth be known/told at truth
Old English cnāwan (earlier gecnāwan) ‘recognize, identify’, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Latin (g)noscere, Greek gignōskein, also by can and ken.
1. T (not used in the progressive tenses)
• I know exactly how you feel.
realize • • appreciate •
without knowing/realizing/appreciating sth
Know or realize? To realize means to become or be aware of sth. To know sth is to be aware of it: know can mean ‘become aware’ if it happens in a single moment; however, if the process of becoming aware takes any time, use realize:
• The moment I walked in the room I realized/knew something was wrong.
• I soon/quickly/gradually realized my mistake.
¤ I soon/quickly/gradually knew my mistake.
2. T, I
• I know my keys are here somewhere!
guarantee • |spoken bet •
you can guarantee/bet (that…)
know • recognize • name • make sb/sth out
These words all mean to be able to see or hear sb/sth and especially to be able to say who or what they are.
identify • to be able to say who or what sb/sth is: ▪ She was able to identify her attacker.
know • to be able to say who or what sth is when you see or hear it because you have seen or heard it before Know is used especially to talk about sounds that seem familiar and when sb recognizes the quality or opportunity that sb/sth represents: ▪ I couldn't see who was speaking, but I knew the voice. ◊ ▪ She knows a bargain when she sees one.
recognize • to know who sb is or what sth is when you see or hear them/it, because you have seen or heard them/it before: ▪ I recognized him as soon as he came in the room.
name • to say the name of sb/sth in order to show that you know who/what they are: ▪ The victim has not yet been named.
make sb/sth out • to manage to see or hear sb/sth that is not very clear: ▪ I could just make out a figure in the darkness.
to identify/know/recognize sb/sth by sth
to identify/recognize/name sb/sth as sb/sth
to identify/know/recognize/make out who/what/how…
to easily/barely/just identify/recognize/make out sb/sth
• But I hardly know the woman!
• He is internationally known for his work with vaccines.
• He knew instinctively where he would find her.
• He knows a lot about early music.
• He was known as Bonzo to his friends.
• I don't know John very well.
• I don't know for certain, but I think she lives in the next town.
• I don't know of anyone who might be interested in the job.
• I don't know them personally.
• I honestly don't know what they mean to do.
• I instantly knew what the call was about.
• I just knew there would be problems.
• If I'd known beforehand how bad it would be, I wouldn't have gone.
• Iran was formerly known as Persia.
• It is widely known that CFCs can damage the ozone layer.
• Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help.
• Please let me know= tell me if there's anything I can do to help.
• She's very nice when you get to know her
• The drug is variously known as crack or freebase.
• The next thing I knew, I was waking up in hospital.
• The properties of this substance are poorly known.
• This man is known to the police.
• Xinjiang was formerly known as eastern Turkestan.
• You know very well what I'm talking about!
• parts of the body known collectively as the sensory system
• ‘He's feeling really down.’ ‘I know.’
• ‘Martin was lying all along.’ ‘I should have known.’
• ‘She's the worst player in the team.’ ‘Oh, I don't know — she played well yesterday.’
• ‘You were right— someone's been spreading rumours about you.’ ‘I knew it!’
• He knew he was dying.
• He knew that he could trust her.
• He knows this city better than anyone.
• I couldn't see who was speaking, but I knew the voice.
• I don't know that I can finish it by next week.
• I know it's here somewhere!
• If only we'd known you were having so many problems!
• If you don't know how to fill in the forms, just ask.
• She knew deep down that she would never see him again.
• She thought she would never know the joy of seeing a child grow up in her care.
• This case is hopeless and he knows it.
• You know perfectly well what she meant.
Idioms: God knows ▪ I don't know how, why, etc … ▪ I know ▪ before you know where you are ▪ for all you/I/they know ▪ in the know ▪ know best ▪ know better ▪ know different ▪ know full well ▪ know somebody backwards ▪ know somebody by sight ▪ know somebody inside out ▪ know somebody like the back of your hand ▪ know something as well as I do ▪ know what you're talking about ▪ know which side your bread is buttered ▪ know your own mind ▪ know your stuff ▪ know your way around ▪ let it be make it known that … ▪ let somebody know ▪ make yourself known to somebody ▪ not know any better ▪ not know beans about something ▪ not know somebody from Adam ▪ not know the first thing about somebody ▪ not know what hit you ▪ not know where to look ▪ not know whether you're coming or going ▪ not know you are born ▪ not know your arse from your elbow ▪ not to know ▪ there's no knowing ▪ what do you know? ▪ what does … know? ▪ you know ▪ you know what? ▪ you know who ▪ you never know
Old English cnāwan (earlier gecnāwan) ‘recognize, identify’, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Latin (g)noscere, Greek gignōskein, also by can and ken.
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
know / nəʊ / / noʊ / verb ( knew , known ) (HAVE INFORMATION)
A1 [ I or T , not continuous ] to have information in your mind:
"Where did he go?" "I don't know."
"What does it cost?" "Ask Kate. She'll know."
She knows the name of every kid in the school.
I don't know anything about this.
[ + question word ] We don't know wh en he's arriving.
I don't know (= understand) wh at all the fuss is about.
[ + (that) ] I just knew (that) it was going to be a disaster.
She knew (= was aware) (that) something was wrong.
[ + obj + to infinitive ] Even small amounts of these substances are known to cause skin problems.
formal The authorities know him to be (= know that he is) a cocaine dealer.
A1 [ T not continuous ] used to ask someone to tell you a piece of information:
Do you know the time?
[ + question word ] Do you know wh ere the Post Office is?
A2 [ I or T , not continuous ] to be certain:
[ + (that) ] I know (that) she'll be really pleased to hear the news.
[ + question word ] I don't know wh ether I should tell her or not.
The party is at Sarah's house as/so far as I know (= I think but I am not certain) .
know / nəʊ / / noʊ / verb ( knew , known ) (BE FAMILIAR WITH)
B1 [ T not continuous ] to be familiar with or have experience and understanding of:
I've known Daniel since we were at school together.
She grew up in Paris so she knows it well.
I've seen the film 'Casablanca' so many times that I know a lot of it by heart (= I know it in my memory) .
Knowing Sarah (= from my experience of her in the past) , she'll have done a good job.
formal I have known (= experienced) great happiness in my life.
B1 [ I or T , not continuous ] ( also know about ) If you know a subject, you are familiar with it and understand it:
Do you know about computers?
She knows her subject inside out ( UK also backwards ) (= very well) .
A2 [ T not continuous ] If you know a language, you can speak and understand it:
Do you know any French?
[ T not continuous ] to recognize someone or something:
That's Peter alright - I'd know him anywhere!
I know a bargain when I see one.
know how to do sth A2 to be able to do something because you have the necessary knowledge:
Do you know how to print on this computer?
get to know sb/sth B1 to spend time with someone or something so that you gradually learn more about them:
The first couple of meetings are for the doctor and patient to get to know each other.
I'll need a few weeks to get to know the system.
know sb by name
to have heard the name of a person but not seen or talked to them
know sb by sight
If you know someone by sight, their face is familiar to you, but they are not a friend of yours.
© Cambridge University Press 2013
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 knowing, 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 backwards
to know best
to know better
to know no bounds
to know what side your bread is buttered on
to know something for a fact
as far as I know
not to know the first thing about something
to know full well
to let someone know
not to know the meaning of the word
to know your own mind
for reasons best known to oneself
to know the ropes
1know /ˈnoʊ/ verb not used in progressive tenses knows; knew /ˈnuː, Brit ˈnjuː/; known /ˈnoʊn/; know·ing
1 a : to have (information of some kind) in your mind
• He knows a lot about the history of the town.
• Do you know the answer?
• I don't know her name.
• Do you know what time it is?
• I don't know the words to that song.
• They knew a good deal about the problem.
• She knows the rules of the game.
• He knows everything about horses. = He knows all/everything there is to know about horses.
- often + how, why, where, etc.
• Do you know why she left this suitcase here?
• Do you know where she went?
• No one knows (for sure) how long it will take the fix the problem.
• He knows perfectly/full well how to do it.
• If you want the answer, ask someone who knows.
• “What is she doing?” “Believe me, you don't want to know.” [=you would be shocked or upset to learn what she is doing]
- often + about
• He knows (all) about horses.
b : to understand (something) : to have a clear and complete idea of (something)
• I don't know much about art, but I know what I like.
- usually + how, why, where, etc.
• Scientists don't yet know why this happens.
• I don't know what to do.
• I don't know what you want me to do.
• We had almost no money in those days. I don't know how we managed.
• I don't know how you could be so careless.
• You know perfectly/full well what I am trying to say.
• “How could she do that?” “How should/would I know?!” [=I don't know, and you should not expect me to know]
c [+ obj] : to have learned (something, as a skill or a language)
• She knows karate/CPR.
• He knows Spanish.
- often + how
• Do you know how to type?
• I would go swimming with you, but I don't know how (to swim). [=I never learned to swim]
2 : to be aware of (something) : to realize (something)
• She knows that many people will not believe her.
• I know (that) this isn't easy for you, but you have to keep trying.
• As soon as I turned on the light I knew that something was missing.
• There was no way for me to know that he was your brother. = How was I to know that he was your brother?
• It's wrong and you know it! [=you are aware that it is wrong]
• “I'm sorry I threw out those bags.” “It's okay: you couldn't have known that I needed them.” = “It's okay: you had no way of knowing that I needed them.” = (Brit) “It's okay: you weren't to know that I needed them.”
• You ought to know by now that she is always late.
• It's impossible to know what will happen next. = There's no way of knowing what will happen next. = There's no knowing what will happen next.
• If you've never been to Venice, you don't know what you're missing. [=you would enjoy going to Venice very much]
• You know as well as I do that they expect us at 8:00.
• You don't know how happy I am to see you. [=I am extremely happy to see you]
• You'll never know what this means to me. = You can't know how much this means to me. [=this means a great deal to me]
• As far as I know, they plan to arrive on Monday. [=I believe that they plan to arrive on Monday, but I am not sure]
• We're planning a party for George. As you know, he'll be leaving the company next month.
- often + about or of
• I knew about the problem. [=I was aware of the problem]
• Does she know about the meeting?
• I don't know of any job openings right now. [=I am not aware of any job openings right now]
• I know of her as a poet but not as a novelist. [=I am familiar with her poetry but not with her novels]
• Do you know of a good lawyer? [=can you recommend a good lawyer?]
• “Does he have relatives nearby?” “Not that I know of.” [=I don't think he has any relatives nearby]
3 : to be certain of (something)
• Everyone else believes him, but I just know (that) he's lying.
• I don't know if I can trust her. [=I am not sure that I can trust her]
• It's hard to know exactly where the candidate stands on this issue.
• I knew he'd forget.
• I need to know if they are coming.
• “She says she's not coming.” “I knew it!” [=I was sure that she wouldn't come]
• I knew it all along. [=I was always sure of it]
• “They're coming.” “Do you know [=are you certain], or are you just guessing?” = “Do you know for sure/certain, or are you just guessing?”
• He thinks he got the job but he doesn't know for sure.
4 [+ obj]
a : to have met and talked to (someone) : to be acquainted or familiar with (a person)
• “Do you know Clara?” “Yes, we've met.”
• “Do you know Clara?” “We've met but I wouldn't say that I really know her.” [=I am not close to her; I don't know much about her]
• I've known him for years. He's one of my best friends.
• Knowing you, you'll be the first one there. [=because I know you so well, I expect you to be the first one there]
• She's the kindest person I know.
• To know him is to love him. [=the people who know him feel great affection for him]
• We just bought a house here last month, and we're still getting to know our neighbors. [=we're still meeting our neighbors; we're still becoming acquainted with our neighbors]
b : to have experience with (something) : to be acquainted or familiar with (something)
• She knows the city very well.
• Do you know her painting/writing/work?
• Do you know any good restaurants in this area?
• We're still getting to know the neighborhood.
• The building as we know it [=as it exists now] is quite different from how it looked when it was first built.
• This is the end of the organization as we know it. [=the organization has changed and will never again be the same as it was]
c : to have experienced (something)
• someone who knows grief well [=someone who has experienced a lot of grief]
- usually used as known
• I've known failure and I've known success. [=I have failed and I have succeeded]
5 [+ obj]
a : to recognize (someone or something) : to identify (someone or something) accurately
• “How will I know her?” “She'll be wearing a red sweater.”
• I would know [=recognize] that voice anywhere.
• I know his face [=his face is familiar to me] but I don't remember his name.
• I feel like I know this house, but I've never been here before.
• I know many of the customers at the café by sight. [=I see them often enough that I recognize them]
b : to recognize the difference between two things : to be able to distinguish (one thing) from another
• know right from wrong
6 [+ obj]
a : to be sure that (someone or something) has a particular quality, character, etc., because of your experiences with that person or thing - usually followed by to + verb
• I've worked with him for many years, and I know him to be an honest man.
• I know the business to be legitimate.
b : to think of (someone or something) as having a particular quality, character, etc. - + as
• His neighbors knew him as a quiet and friendly person, but the people he worked with saw a different side of him.
- often used as (be) known as
• She is known as an expert in the field. [=people consider her an expert]
- used to indicate the name that people know or use for someone or something; + as
• Her neighbors knew her as Jill Brown, but her real name was Amy Smith.
- often used as (be) known as
• Samuel L. Clemens was better/otherwise known as Mark Twain. [=most people called him Mark Twain]
• Beethoven's Third Symphony is widely known as the “Eroica.”
- used to say that someone or something has a particular quality, feature, ability, etc., that people know about; + for
• Fans of the blues know the city for its live blues clubs.
- usually used as (be) known for
• The restaurant is known for its desserts. [=the restaurant's desserts are popular, well-known, etc.]
• She is known for her ability to work quickly. = She is known for working quickly.
• He's known for being late. [=he is often late]
✦Someone who has been known to be or known to do something has been or done that thing in the past.
• We've known him to work all night to meet a deadline. = He's been known to work all night to meet a deadline.
• I've never known her to be wrong. [=I do not know of any time when she has been wrong]
• He's been known to do this kind of thing before.
before you know it : very quickly or soon
• We'll be there before you know it.
• The game was over before I knew it.
better the devil you know than the devil you don't
- see devil
don't I know it informal
- used to say that you agree with what has just been said
• “It's freezing in here!” “Don't I know it.” [=I agree]
for all I know informal
- used to say that you have little or no knowledge of something
• For all I know, he left last night. [=I don't know when he left; it's possible that he left last night]
• She may have already accepted another job, for all we know. [=we don't know what she has done; it's possible that she has already accepted another job]
God knows or goodness knows or heaven knows or Lord knows informal
- used to stress that something is not known
• How long will the meeting last? Heaven knows.
• God (only) knows if the reports are true.
- used to make a statement more forceful
• He finally got a raise. Goodness knows he deserved one. [=he certainly deserved one]
• She didn't win, but Lord knows she tried.
have known better days
- see 1better
I don't know
- used to say that you do not have the information someone is asking for
• “What time does the library close?” “I don't know.”
- used to express disagreement, doubt, or uncertainty
• “I don't like that guy.” “Oh, I don't know, he's not really so bad.”
• “Which one is your favorite?” “Um, I don't know, maybe the red one.”
• She thinks we should go now, but I don't know. [=I'm not sure] Maybe we should wait.
- used to say that you are uncertain about someone or something
• I don't know about you [=you may think or feel differently than I do about this], but I'm leaving.
• “She said she'd be here by 5:00.” “I don't know about that.” [=I'm not sure that will happen]
• I don't know about him—he's hard to figure out.
if you must know
- used when you are answering a question that you do not want to answer because the information is personal, embarrassing, etc.
• “How much did you pay for your car?” “Well, if you must know, it cost about $20,000.”
• “Why did you leave that job?” “If you must know, I was fired.”
I'll have you know
- see have
I know (it)
- used to express agreement
• “Hurry up, we're going to be late.” “I know, but I can't find my shoe.”
• “This place is such a mess.” “I know it.” [=I agree]
• “I can't believe he lied.” “I know, I know.”
• “The whole situation is just so stupid.” “I know.”
- used to introduce a suggestion
• “What should we do tonight?” “I know [=I have an idea]—how about a movie?”
I wouldn't know
- used to say that you have not experienced something
• “That restaurant has the best desserts!” “I wouldn't know. I've never been there.”
know best or know what's best : to know or understand better than someone else what should be done
• I would take the highway myself, but you live here so you know best.
• I'll do whatever you say. You know what's best.
1 : to be smart or sensible enough not to do something
• You walked home alone? Don't you know better (than that)?
• She'll know better than to trust them again. [=she will not trust them again]
• There's no excuse for his behavior. He's old enough to know better.
• Don't blame him. He's just a child and he doesn't know (any) better. [=he is too young, inexperienced, etc., to be expected to behave properly]
2 : to know or understand the truth about something
• She tried to tell me that it wasn't her fault, but I know better. [=I know that it really was her fault]
3 : to know or understand more than other people
• You can't tell him what to do. He always thinks that he knows better.
know different/otherwise : to know that something that people think or say is true is not really true
• She says she has no money but I know otherwise. [=I know that she does have money]
know from [phrasal verb] know from (someone or something) US informal : to know anything about or care at all about (someone or something) - used in negative statements
• kids who don't know from sports
know no boundaries
- see boundary
know no bounds
- see 6bound
know (something) backward and forward or Brit know (something) backwards or know (something) inside out or US know (something) inside and out or know (something) like the back of your hand : to know something completely
• He knew the process backward and forward.
• She knows the business inside and out.
• I know this town like the back of my hand.
know (something or someone) for what it/he/she is : to understand what something or someone truly is
• Now I know them for what they are—liars.
• before scientists knew the disease for what it is—a virus
• the friends who know me for what I am [=who truly know and understand me]
know (something) when you see it/one : to be able to recognize or identify something immediately
• She knows a bargain when she sees it.
• I know a liar when I see one.
• I'm not sure what I want but I'll know it when I see it.
know the drill
- see 1drill
know the score
- see 1score
know what hit you
- used in negative statements to say that something you did not expect surprised you very much
• I didn't know what hit me—suddenly I just felt so dizzy.
• The company came out with an entirely new line of products last year, and their competitors never knew what hit them. [=their competitors were not prepared and were completely surprised]
know what it is or to know what it's like : to have experience with a situation, activity, or condition
• He knows what it is to be poor. [=he has been poor]
• They know what it's like to have no privacy.
know what you are talking about
✦If you know what you are talking about, you deserve to be listened to because you have actual knowledge or experience with something and what you are saying is correct.
• Take her advice. She knows what she's talking about.
• “He said the movie is boring.” “Don't listen to him. He doesn't know what he's talking about.” [=he is wrong]
know which side your bread is buttered on
- see 1bread
know your own heart/mind : to be sure of what you want, like, think, etc.
• She's a woman who knows her own mind.
know yourself : to understand yourself fully : to understand your own emotions, desires, abilities, etc.
• I was so young then. I really didn't know myself.
know your stuff
- see 1stuff
know your way around
✦If you know your way around a place or thing, you are very familiar with it or are good at using or operating it.
• He knows his way around Boston.
• She really knows her way around a sailboat. [=she knows how to sail; she is a very good sailor]
• They know their way around computers.
let (someone) know : to tell something to someone
• Let me know [=tell me] if you're going to the party.
• Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help. [=I would like to help; please tell me if you need help]
• He's not sure what time he'll arrive—he is going to let us know.
• She let the staff know her decision. [=she told the staff her decision]
let (something) be known or make (something) known formal : to tell people something
• He let it be known [=he announced] that he intends to run for mayor.
• She made her decision known to the staff. [=she told the staff her decision]
make yourself known formal : to introduce yourself : to cause people to know who you are
• The candidate made herself known to voters through an aggressive ad campaign.
• the movie in which the actor first made himself known to the world
might/should have known
- used to say that you are not surprised to learn of something
• I should have known it would be too expensive.
• “She says she's going to be late.” “I might have known.”
not know someone from Adam informal : to have never met with someone : to not know someone at all
• Why should she trust me? She doesn't know me from Adam.
not know the first thing about : to have little or no knowledge about (something or someone)
• I don't know the first thing about cooking/sports/children.
not know the meaning of (the word)
- see meaning
not know your ass from your elbow chiefly US or Brit not know your arse from your elbow informal + impolite : to know nothing : to be stupid
• Don't take his word for it—he doesn't know his ass from his elbow.
what do you know informal
- used to express surprise
• She's an astronaut? Well, what do you know!
• “He's going to law school in the fall.” “Well what do you know about that?” [=I am surprised that he is going to law school]
- used to say that someone is wrong about something
• “She thinks I should take the job.” “What does she know? You should do what you want.”
wouldn't you know (it)? informal
- used to say that something annoying that has happened is the kind of thing that often happens
• I was running late and—wouldn't you know?—I rushed off without my purse.
• “He's late again.” “Wouldn't you know it?!”
you know informal
- used when you are trying to help someone remember something
• They live on the other side of town. You know—near the golf course.
• He was in our history class—you know [=you remember]—the tall blond guy in the front row.
- used for emphasis
• You know, we really have to go.
• It's cold outside, you know.
• You know, you really should write a novel.
- used when you are not sure of what to say or how to say it
• Would you like to, you know, go out sometime?
• We're planning to go shopping and, you know, just hang out.
you know something/what? informal
- used to emphasize the statement that comes after it
• You know something? I never trusted her.
• She lied to me again, but you know what? I really just don't care any more.
- used to get someone's attention
• Hey, you know what? I'm hungry.
you know what I mean informal
- used to suggest that the hearer agrees with and understands what has been said or to ask if he or she does or not
• I grew up there, you know what I mean, so I know what it's like.
• He's kind of strange. Do you know what I mean?
• He's kind of strange, if you know what I mean.
- sometimes used in the shortened form know what I mean
• He's kind of strange—know what I mean?
you know what they say informal
- used to introduce a common saying or a statement that expresses a common belief
• Keep trying, and you'll figure it out. You know what they say: if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
you never know
- used to say that it is impossible to be sure about what will happen
• You never know—you might win the lottery.
• You never know who will show up.
• You never know with her parties: anyone could show up.