To Know OF – Phrasal Verb Explained in American English – Learn to Speak like a Native


If you know of Go Natural English, then you are undoubtedly familiar with your American English teacher, Gabby. Knowing of something or somebody means that you are familiar with a certain place, object, or person.


You could hear phrases like, “I know of the Valley of the Kings in Egypt although I’ve never personally been there, but I have ready many books about it.”  You might also hear someone say, “I know of your theories, but I’ve never actually put them into practice.”


English is a great language to use when communicating because it is rich with expressive idioms and phrases. Don’t forget to take every opportunity to visit for helpful tips and ideas on how to improve your English conversational skills. Be sure to check out the premium course for more advanced support and practice with English.



Episode transcript below:


Hey there! What’s up?

How are you doing, lovely English learner?

I want to share an awesome English tip with you that I notice a lot of people having some trouble with.

So, the difference between “To Know” and “To Know Of” – To know of, that little word “of” makes a big difference.

So, I see people confusing these two a lot,

So, if you’re not sure what the difference is, then listen on and watch on.

So, “To Know” of course, is to have knowledge of something right?

“I know my address.”

“I know my friends very well.”

“I know how to learn a language.”

“To know of” is usually used with a person.

Now, I said, “I know my friends well.”

That means that I’m familiar with their characters and the way they behave, but if I say, “I know of” plus a person – for example “I know of” – who was I just looking at yesterday – there was a comedian, Chelsea something.

Let’s say “I know” – let me use someone I actually remember the name for … “I know of Jimmy Fallon, but I don’t know Jimmy Fallon.”

“To know” someone means you actually have met them – you know them personally, right?

“To know of someone means that you’ve heard their name – you may be familiar with what they do or who they are, but you’re not close friends with them.

So, a native speaker will use these two phrases in different ways, right?

“To know of” a person is to have heard their name.

“To know” a person is to be very familiar and to have met the person – to be familiar with them, to know them on a personal basis.

Alright, so that’s the difference, and that’s why it sounds funny when I hear people saying, “Oh yeah, I know Jimmy Fallon”, right?

No, you know of Jimmy Fallon, right?

So, it’s a small little word, but it can just help you to sound a little bit more fluent and native-like, alright?

We also use “To Know of” with places, right?

So, “I know of Mongolia, but I’ve never been there.”

If I’ve been there, I would probably say, “Oh yeah, I know Mongolia really well”, right?

Because I’m familiar with that place – I’ve been there.

Actually I personally haven’t been there so, I would say, “I know of Mongolia and its beautiful places.”

I think there’s a beautiful Lake Baikal there.

Anyway, if you’re from Mongolia, please leave your comment.

Tell me about what I should know about Mongolia.

I’m getting way off topic, but I want you to know the difference between “To Know” and “To Know of.”

So, I hope this was helpful.

I hope that you will watch English lessons with Go Natural English on

We have the premium course and then we have the quick English tips so, two different ways that you can learn together with me.

Alright, thanks so much for watching and I’ll talk to you again soon.

Bye for now.



Photo Credits: geralt

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