General Writing and Grammar Help/Know, know of, know about

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Question
Dear Ted:

Are there any differences among "to know someone," to know of someone," and "to know about someone"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

As always, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Are there any differences among "to know someone," to know of someone," and "to know about someone"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** "To know someone" means that you are actually acquainted with that person.  You have met him physically

"To know OF someone" and "to know ABOUT someone" are related phrases, and they are NOT LIKE "to know someone."

You may KNOW OF a celebrity you have never met.

You may KNOW ABOUT Christopher Columbus, but the two of you never had physical contact.

THAT is the difference.  

EXAMPLES:

I know several teachers who are outstanding.
I got to know John very well when we went on the safari together.

I know of several soccer players, even though I do not follow the sport.

I know about my great-grandfather through the stories my mother told of him.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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