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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default knowledge of, a knowlegdge of

    1. He has a wide knowledge of painting and music. (OALD, 6th edition, knowledge)
    2. Knowledge of French is a plus in her work. (OALD, 6th edition, plus)
    3. Solicitors should possess detailed knowledge of certain aspects of the law. (Macmillan, knowledge)
    4. They seemed to have inside knowledge of MI5 operations. (Macmillan, inside)
    5. They are salesmen with good technical knowledge of what they're selling. (LONGMAN 4th edtion, knowledge)
    6. An in-depth knowledge of accounting is not necessary as training will be given. (LONGMAN, 4th edition, knowledge)
    7. The year studying in the US gives students personal knowledge of American culture. (LONGMAN, 4th edition, knowledge)
    8. Candidates must have a good knowledge of chemitry. (LONGMAN 4th edition, a)
    9. She has theoretcal knowledge of teaching, but no practical experience. (LONGMAN 4th edition, theoretcal)
    10. someone with a background knowledge of engineering (LONGMAN, 4th edition, knowledge)

    From these sentences I guessed that 'knowledge of...' equals 'a knowledge of'. But I'm not sure.
    Could I ask native English teachers to help me with this question?
    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by joham; 20-Nov-2008 at 23:46. Reason: Sentences added.

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: knowledge of, a knowlegdge of

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    1. He has a wide knowledge of painting and music. (OALD, 6 edition, knowledge)
    2. Knowledge of French is a plus in her work. (OALD, 6th edition, plus)
    3. Solicitors should possess detailed knowledge of certain aspects of the law. (Macmillan, knowledge)
    4. They seemed to have inside knowdge of M15 operations. (Macmillan, inside)
    5. They are salesmen with good technical knowledge of what they're selling. (LONGMAN 4 edtion, knowledge)
    6. An in-depth knowledge of accounting is not necessary as training will be given. (LONGMAN, 4 edition, knowledge)
    7. The year studying in the US gives students personal knowledge of American culture. (LONGMAN, 4 edition, knowledge)

    From these sentences I guessed that 'knowledge of...' equals 'a knowledge of'. But I'm not sure.
    Could I ask native English teachers to help me with this question?
    Thank you very much.
    It doesn't equal it, but it often implies it. A knowledge of something is background knowledge/education/preparation for a job. This fits your example numbers 1 and 6. It also fits 7, in the sense that the students gain a knowledge by means of first-hand/specific observation/participation/immersion.

    "Knowledge" on its own tends to be specific: "Did you have knowledge of this relationship?". The kind of knowledge referred to in examples 3, 4, and 5 is specific, though not as specific as in my example. Incidentally, I think there's a typo in the example: it's most probably "MI5" (a government department that deals with Military Intelligence.)

    This leaves 2, where I'd have expected to see a. But as it's a specific addition to her general suitability, the omission is fine. She was hired, say, because she had a knowledge of German and Russian; the fact that she can handle francophone customers when required is a specific bonus.

    (As many of these examples show, the distinction I'm aware of as a native speaker is not hard and fast. Other teachers might hold that there's a more simple equivalence of the two versions.)

    b

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: knowledge of, a knowlegdge of

    PS Congratulations on all the references; that sort of thing really helps.

    b

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