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    #1

    have knowledge of / a knowledge of

    She has an intimate knowledge of the Asian market. (Can we omit the 'an'?)

    He managed to find contacts who had inside knowledge of the organization. (Can we use 'an' before the 'inside knowledge'?)

    Many sincere thanks in advance.

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    #2

    Re: have knowledge of / a knowledge of

    It's been more than ten days since I posted this question here and I'm still looking forward to your kind help. A question like this may sound stupid but it's a real difficulty for an ESL like me. Just now I was reading DISCOVER CANADA and came across this sentence:

    Immigrants between the ages of 18 and 54 must have adequate knowledge of English or French in order to become Canadian citizens.


    I've benefited a great deal from this great forum and I'm grateful for all your help. But I just don't know when to use a/an and when not to in the case of 'knowledge'. Could anyone give me some explanation please? A thousand thanks in advance.

  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: have knowledge of / a knowledge of

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    She has an intimate knowledge of the Asian market. (Can we omit the 'an'?)

    He managed to find contacts who had inside knowledge of the organization. (Can we use 'an' before the 'inside knowledge'?)

    Many sincere thanks in advance.
    I'm not a native speaker, and my answer may not be a perfect one, but as a same asian, I've always had the same problem.

    1.She has an intimate knowledge of the Asian market. - Indefinite article(A or an) should be used for concrete, actual, specific things not conceptual things. In this case, knowledge means some kind of accumulated facts about something, 知识. 知识 is something countable and can be a specific one for some field or area. So I think "A" shouldn't be be omitted.

    2. He managed to find contacts who had inside knowledge of the organization. - This doesn't mean 知识 but "being aware of" 认识 that is not countable. So "a" is not desirable in here.

    In short, I think you should use "a or an" for countable things(actual, specific, concrete) while omission of them for uncountable things(concepts such as water, money, beauty, laziness, etc that are in your mind)

    Even water, money, beauty can be countable nouns when they refer to specific things.
    ex)I need water(concept in your mind)-> I need a water that's quite different from this water(a kind of specific water ).
    Beauty is only skin-deep(concept)-> Liz taylor was a great beauty(specific person).

    希望 有帮助 !

  2. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: have knowledge of / a knowledge of

    It's murky territory for me in that it's kind of hard to explain. Perhaps others can do a better job.

    I don't see a substantial difference between indefinite and zero-article in your first example.

    She has an intimate knowledge of the Asian market.
    She has intimate knowledge of the Asian market.

    In your second sentence indefinite article is possible but it's more natural for me to use zero article.

    He managed to find contacts who had inside knowledge of the organization.

    I guess in many cases it's about collocations more than about article rules.

    The indefinite article in these cases is used to put the noun into a category -- there are many kinds/categories of knowledge; I'm speaking about the intimate kind. By using an indefinite article I'm pointing to one aspect of the noun. I read this as stressing the word intimate.
    Without the article, I read the noun and the modifier more like a unit than when I use the indefinite article.

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: have knowledge of / a knowledge of

    I like it this way: no article if there is no adjective; the indefinite article if an adjective is present.

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