What does ‘know’ mean?

The word ‘hit’ can mean many different things. As a verb, it means be familiar with a person/place, have information in your mind, have the knowledge.

For example:

  • I know Harry, we’ve been friends for years. (be familiar with a person/place)
  • Everyone knows not to put metal in the microwave. (have information in your mind)
  • Ask Laura in IT, she knows how the software works. (have the knowledge)

Know is an irregular verb. The past tense is knew and the past participle is known. I’ll give you an example sentence of each tense:

  • I know a good book you can read. (present)
  • All the gang knew the secret apart from Ryan. (past simple)
  • I had only known Ernie for 7 months before he passed. (past participle)

idioms list with ‘know’

  • know a trick or two – use expertise to deal with a problem
    e.g. Ask your grandad to help you, he knows a trick or two about gardening.
  • know like the back of one’s hand – know something very well
    e.g. We’ve lived in this city our whole lives. We know it like the back of our hands.
  • know someone/something inside out – know very well
    e.g. We’ve been together for 25 years, we know each other inside out.
  • know the score – be aware of what is going on even if you don’t like it
    e.g. He knows the score. If he wants drugs, I want money first.
  • know which side one’s bread is buttered – someone knows what to do/say to get an advantage
    e.g. Danny knows which side of his bread is buttered, he’ll get the promotion.
  • know which way the wind blows – predict how something will develop
    e.g. Phone manufacturers know which way the wind blows regarding what consumers want.
  • know-it-all – a person who acts as though they know everything
    e.g. Nora is a know-it-all, you can’t tell her anything.

Let’s see these idioms with pictures and meaning using real-life scenarios.

verb phrases - know
know idioms - know a trick or two
know idioms - know it all
verb phrase - know someone/something inside out
know idioms - know the score
know idioms - know which side of one's bread is buttered
know idioms - know which way the wind blows
know idioms - like the back of one's hand