[Grammar] A/The knack of/for


Dec 21, 2013
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Hi teachers

Seeking help. When I look up the meaning of "knack" in the dictionary, I saw the use of "a/the" and "of/for" as in the following sample sentences. Under what circumstances should I use "a/the", and "of/for"?

1) When should I use a or the as in the following sentences:
a. Why using "a" in "She had a knack for teaching people how to enjoy the simple things in life."
b. Why using "the" in "He has the knack of sharing information in a readable and entertaining way, so that the subject does not seem too technical and boring"

2) When should I use of or for as in the following sentences:
c. Why using "for" as in "He also has the rare knack for getting the players around him to lift their game"?
d. Why using "of" as in ‘Her voice is immensely beautiful and can lift you out of a blue mood, but more importantly, she has the knack of making you empathize with her subject matter.’

The sample sentences are from the following website (I can't find the rules behind the use of "a/the" and "of/for"


Last edited:


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Mar 5, 2014
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This is a very difficult question to answer completely. You're asking about the differences in use between a/the and of/for, which are not easy to explain clearly, and which would need to be answered separately.

So I'll just give you some simple advice:

  • a knack for
  • the knack of

This is just a rough rule, however. You can see that 2c. does not follow this rule.