Word Choice: No vs Know
  • 2-minute read
  • 12th December 2022

Word Choice: No vs Know

“No” and “know” are homophones, which means they sound the same but have different meanings. So, what do they mean? In this post, we’ll explain their differences so you’ll know how to use them correctly in your writing.

No (Negation or Absence)

You’d use “no” to express negation. For example, a cautious person might interject:

No, I don’t want to go skydiving with you!

You could also use “no” as an adjective to express not any or hardly any:

Thanks, but I really have no desire to go skydiving with you.

You might also use “no” to express the exact opposite of something:

Jumping out of a plane with only a parachute is no small act of courage.

Know (Understanding)

On the other hand, “know” expresses ideas related to understanding, certainty, information, or awareness. For example:

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Know this material well, as it will be on the test next week.

Do you know many of your neighbors?

You actually know more about grammar than you realize.

Commonly Mixed-Up Phrases

Because “no” and “know” sound exactly the same, it’s easy to mix them up some phrases. Below are some examples of correctly written phrases using each:

Phrases With “No”Phrases With “Know”
There’s no doubtKnow yourself
It’s no wonderAs far as I know
No problem!Before you know it
No worries!Know it by heart

Homophones like no and know are easier to keep straight once you’ve reflected on the meanings of each, and we hope this post helps you to do just that.

But of course, mistakes happen! Having your work checked by a professional editor can give a writer added peace of mind. Our editors can help you put your best foot forward by reviewing your word choices, spelling, grammar, and punctuation for a variety of types of writing. Submit a free sample today.

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