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    #1

    He who knows not somebody

    Hi teachers,
    While reading a book of Shakespeare I came across a grammar pattern that is new to me.

    'He who knows not Shakespeare is ignorant of.............. '

    My problem is 'knows not' is totally new to me and I do not get that pattern.

    But I believe it cal also be written as 'He who doesn't know Shakespeare is........ '

    The problem is I am not familiar with the first phrase.

    Your comment would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He who knows not somebody

    Quote Originally Posted by kite View Post
    Hi teachers,
    While reading a book of Shakespeare I came across a grammar pattern that is new to me.

    'He who knows not Shakespeare is ignorant of.............. '

    My problem is 'knows not' is totally new to me and I do not get that pattern.

    But I believe it cal also be written as 'He who doesn't know Shakespeare is........ '

    The problem is I am not familiar with the first phrase.

    Your comment would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    It's archaic English from before the adoption of the auxiliary "does(n't)".

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    #3
    In the present day, we cant see that kind of grammar rule, right?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: He who knows not somebody

    Quote Originally Posted by kite View Post
    In the present day, we cant see that kind of grammar rule, right?
    It would not be natural in modern English.

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    #5

    Re: He who knows not somebody

    You may come across it occasionally, but when people use it, they are consciously using an old form for rhetorical effect, so you might find it in a formal speech, for instance.

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    #6

    Re: He who knows not somebody

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    You may come across it occasionally, but when people use it, they are consciously using an old form for rhetorical effect, so you might find it in a formal speech, for instance.
    "Ask not what your country can do for you..."

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    #7

    Re: He who knows not somebody

    That was the one that came to mind first.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: He who knows not somebody

    My favorite use of this construction is: “He who knows not and knows not he knows not: is a fool - shun him. He who knows not and knows he knows not: is simple - teach him. He who knows and knows not he knows is asleep - wake him. He who knows and knows he knows is wise - follow him.”

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    #9

    Re: He who knows not somebody

    Mike. I like your construction. Anyway, people who do not know this case may think these kinds of usage are wrong, incorrect or ungrammatical. I came across it in a book called complete works. It must have been written two or three centuries ago. I am not sure.

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    #10

    Re: He who knows not somebody

    Quote Originally Posted by kite View Post
    Mike. I like your construction. Anyway, people who do not know this case may think these kinds of usage are wrong, incorrect or ungrammatical. I came across it in a book called complete works. It must have been written two or three centuries ago. I am not sure.
    Yes, it is old. But I don't think we should throw out the baby with the bath water.

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