Essential Expressions With Know

Learn essential expressions with know. The verb ‘to know’ is the 8th most popular verb in the English language. Learn English expressions with ‘know’ and improve your fluency.

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List of expressions with know

essential expressions with know

Hi there, teacher Harry here. And welcome back to the English lessons where I try to help you to get a better understanding of the English language. I can help you with your grammar, English expressions, phrasal verbs, whatever it might be. That will help you to put yourself in a position to have better conversations with your friends, your colleagues. Put you in a position to get a better job, whatever it might be. So what am I going to talk to you about today?

Well, today we’re going to talk about English expressions, and in particular expressions with the word KNOW. And that’s K-N-O-W, not N-O, so K-N-O-W.

In English, we often use

  • I know
  • You know

as a way of filling in a conversation. So you’ll hear it a lot from native English speakers.

I know. Yeah. Yeah, I know.

So you use it as sort of as an acknowledgement that you understand what the person is talking about.

Or indeed,

You know, you know, what I’m trying to say? You know, the person that lives down the street.

Here, we’re going to use some specific phrases. Let me give them to you. 

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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

INSANITY: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

as far as I know

Meaning: you don’t know all of the facts or information, but you think that might be still helpful to the other person

So when we use this expression, we’re going to give some additional information, or we’re going to give somebody some advice, or somebody might ask you for some advice.

As far as I know, the best bus that you can get to get you to town is the number 66.

As far as I know, the boss left an hour ago, and I’m not sure he’s going to be back for the next couple of days.

know something inside out

Meaning: to know something really well, to know every little detail

You have to do a lot of preparation. Particularly with history, you’ve got to know these topics inside out.

He knows this city inside out. Sure, he has been living here most of his life.

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God/heaven (only) knows

Meaning: you have no idea and nobody else will know (except for God or the heavens) 

God only knows what I’m going to tell the customer. I have no idea. I’m going to have to wait until the boss comes back.

It’s an explanation that we use to suggest that we have no idea and nobody else will know. The only person is likely to know is God. But he’s not likely to tell us.

What’s going to happen at the end of this pandemic? What’s going to be the situation with regard to employment? What’s going to be the situation with vaccinations? God only knows.

What are we going to do? Heaven knows.

essential expressions with know

Essential expressions with know. What is the best way to learn English vocabulary? Advanced English course at #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles

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not know someone from Adam

Meaning: you don’t know them at all, you’ve never met them

I don’t really know who you’re talking about. I don’t know him from Adam.

So the reference to Adam is a reference in the Bible of the first person that God’s supposedly created. Adam and Eve. So when we don’t know anybody from Adam, we wouldn’t recognise them, we don’t know them. And really, we’d have to be introduced to them to understand exactly who they are.

know something like the back of your hand

A bit earlier we explained about knowing something inside out, and this is very, very similar.

Meaning: know everything about something

I know this city like the back of my hand, I used to work in a courier company delivering packages.

I’ve been working in this company for many, many years. I know everything about it. I know the rules, the regulations. I know it like the back of my hand.

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know a thing or two about something

Meaning: know a little bit more than other people

If you’re having a problem with your car, the best person to ask is David. He knows a thing or two about it.

If you’ve got an IT problem, the best person to talk to is Mary. She knows a thing or two about technology.

It always helps to know a thing or two about something.

A thing or two about small talk so that you can carry on conversations.

A thing or two about sports. If you get stuck in a conversation with some colleagues, you’re able to make some contribution to the conversation.

A thing or two about cooking. So if you’re stuck on your own, and you’ve got some food in the fridge, you’ll be able to rustle up a quick meal.

know your place

Meaning: understand where you stand relative to other people in society/company

They used to use this a lot in high society. Who should talk to who, particularly in the army or some hierarchical organisation like that, you have to know your place.

If you were just an ordinary private or sergeant, you didn’t mix with the majors and the colonels. You had to know your place.

If you join a new company, you might look at an organisation chart so that you know your place in it.

not know your arse from your elbow

Meaning: (rude, slang) to know nothing, to be stupid

This is a little bit rude and I wouldn’t recommend using it with anybody that you value as a customer or your value as a friend because they could get very insulted.

That guy, you’re wasting your time talking to him. He doesn’t know his arse from his elbow. He’ll tell you something, but to be honest, I wouldn’t believe it.

It might mean that someone just doesn’t understand something.

Those people, they don’t know their arse from their elbow. I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

Be careful who you use it with. You really have to trust a friend of yours, say something to them that they’re not going to repeat to somebody else.

knowing my luck

Meaning: we use it when we want to tell somebody that either we have bad luck, or we usually have some bad luck, or we’re in a situation where we have more bad luck than the average person

Knowing my luck, when I get there, the shop will be closed.

Knowing my luck, when I go to collect my mobile phone, they will have lost it.

Knowing my luck, I’ll get the wrong suit or the wrong trousers.

essential expressions with know

Essential expressions with know. What is the best way to learn English vocabulary? Advanced English course at #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles

And then finally,

before you know it

Meaning: when we use this expression, it means that time is going to pass very quickly

Let’s get into the new term. And before you know it, it’s going to be May, and you’re going to be coming to the end of the school year. Then you’ve got a big long summer holiday to look forward to.

Before you know it, they’ll start the training again, and your football team will be back playing matches. So don’t worry about it. 

Don’t be moaning, don’t worry about this, before you know it, something will have happened and everything will be okay. 

Okay, let me give you essential expressions with know one more time:

  • as far as I know
  • know something inside out
  • God/heaven (only) knows
  • not know someone from Adam
  • know sth like the back of your hand
  • know a thing or two about something
  • know your place
  • not know your arse from your elbow
  • knowing my luck
  • before you know it

Hopefully, you’ve got a good understanding of those essential expressions with know. Practise them and use them. They’re very, very, very common, and you’ll be able to fit in quite easily when you get a little bit of practice.

Three things I want to add.

The first thing is you can listen to me on my podcast.

You can watch my YouTube channel and indeed you can subscribe to the channel.

And finally, you can check out my site at for lots of wonderful courses that might help you to improve your English. As always, I really appreciate you watching and listening to me and I’ll join you again soon.

More information

For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:

Useful words and phrases to describe a new start

English collocations connected with WORK

You can always study English advanced level at Learning English with the BBC.

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