[Grammar] The difference between "know" and "know about"

shimacatu_sa

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Hi, I'd like to know what the difference between "know" and "know about" is.

In the following conversations, which one is more appropriate to use?

A. Are you going to the party on Saturday?
B. I haven't decided yet, because I don't know the details/ I don't know about the details.
Where is the party going to be held at? (Is this 'at' omittable?)


A. What are you going to do in London this weekend?
B. My mother has been making a plan for the trip, and she hasn't told me anything yet.
So, I don't know her plan/ I don't know about her plan.

Thank you.
 

GoesStation

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You know about something when you know that it exists. The speaker in both your sentences knows that the thing being discussed exists, so I don't know about is not appropriate in either case.

"Where is the party going to be held at?" is casual usage. As a learner, you should not use this construction.
 

andrewg927

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You can leave out "at".
 

GoesStation

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In formal writing, should [STRIKE]shall[/STRIKE] "at" be included or omitted?
Only casual speakers use it. It should never appear in writing except for dialog.
 

shimacatu_sa

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Thank you for answering my question.
After reading your advice, I tried to construct better phrases, but I can't seem to come up with them.
Are the two sentences below acceptable?
Could anyone tell me how to ask the same thing in better ways?

Where is the party place?
Where is the party going to be held?


What do you exactly mean by "casual usage"? Do you mean broken English?
I am a little confused because the sentence "Where is the party going to be held at?" doesn't sound impolite or plain to me. If I leave out "at", will the construction still be casual usage?

As for "know" and "know about", I am not clear about them either. (Am I using "about" correctly here?) I think I am too confused to ask about them again now. Please give me some time to clear my head so that I can ask you more articulate questions.

Thank you.
 

andrewg927

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Casual English is the language you use in conversation with friends or to some extent any conversation that is not formal. We have some Spanish neighbors who speak broken English. Understanding them is hit or miss.

You can simply say "Where's the party?"

"Where is the party going to be held at?" is not impolite. I'm not sure where you got that idea. You can leave out "at" and it is still fine in conversation.
 

shimacatu_sa

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Thank you for clarifying the meaning of "casual usage".
I learned a valuable lesson here.

It never occurred to me that not leaving out "at" could be casual usage. I always thought the opposite. I thought it would sound casual when you omit something, because we tend to leave things out when we get lazy. We often get misunderstood when our words are insufficient. So I was afraid of omitting anything.
 

GoesStation

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Careful speakers would never ask Where's the party at? It sounds uneducated or illiterate to people who like to judge others by the way they use English.
 

andrewg927

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In my experience, Americans tend to use what we call fillers (extra words that don't mean anything). But we can be very lazy with our pronunciation. However, unless you move in certain circles you don't want to sound too educated such as using words that only appear in academia. It makes you sound pompous.
 

shimacatu_sa

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After reading GoesStation's advice, I studied the usage of know/know about a little so that I can get a feel of it.
Please check the dialogues below. Thank you.

A. Do you know Mr.Anderson?
B. Yes, I do.
A. What do you know about him?
B. He works in Barcelona and speaks 5 languages. I've had a chance to talk to him. He is quite an interesting person.
C. I know of him because my colleagues often talk about him, but I have never met him personally. I hope to see him someday.



A. Are you going to Emma's retirement party?
B. I haven't decided yet because I don't know the details. Tell me if you know anything about it. I need to know the details before I decide if I want to attend it.
A. Sure, the party is next Sunday, and Becky is going to host it at her home. It's supposed to be a potluck, so you need to take a dish or two with you.
 
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