Difference Between No and Know

The English language has various homophones. Homophones are words that have completely different spelling and meaning but their pronunciation is similar or sometimes the same.

Homophones bring confusion in usage. The homophones are difficult to distinguish in speech.

Two such common homophones in English are “No” and “Know”.

No vs Know

The main difference between no and know is that No is used as a noun, adverb, determiner, and exclamation while know is used only as a verb in the English language. The Old English word of No is Ne while the Old English word of Know is Cnāwan.

No vs Know

No is a strong exclamation and expression. It can act as a stand-alone response to a larger question or sentence.

It can be used in the context of a negative response or decision. No also denotes lack of knowledge or awareness according to the context or situation where the term is used.

No is also used as an interjection in English Grammar.

On the other hand, Know means to be aware or have knowledge about something or someone. It also implies being certain about someone or something.

The past tense of know is known. The auxiliary or helping verb of know is “known”.

The gerund form of the word know is “knowing”.

Comparison Table Between No and Know

Parameters of Comparison NoKnow
TypeIt is used as a noun, adverb, determiner, and exclamationIt is used as a verb
Definition A negative answer, response, or decision To have knowledge or to be aware of something or someone. The word also means to be acquainted with or familiar with something or someone
Function Used in context to negate something or someone Used in context to depict knowledge or awareness about something or someone
Antonyms YesForget, ignore, dismiss
Idioms In the know, know by heartA no-no

What is No?

No is a noun, adverb, determiner, and exclamation. The word “no” cannot be used as a verb in the English language ever.

The word “no” portrays a piece of negative information. It is usually used in sentences to negate another word.

When no is used with a noun, it can change the noun into a manner that is negative in characteristic.

No is the antonym of the word yes. The word can also mean not any or hardly any.

No is also used to denote the opposite of something. Example sentence “He is no genius”.

No is often used in the context of rules which forbid specific actions or behavior. Examples – “No parking here”, “No smoking near the gate”, or “No animals allowed”.

No is a strong exclamation and expression. It can act as a stand-alone response to a larger question or sentence.

It can be used in the context of a negative response or decision. No also denotes lack of knowledge or awareness according to the context or situation where the term is used.

No is also used as an interjection in English Grammar.

Some exemplar sentences – “I’ll leave in no time”, “Oh no! My drink fell”,

“Was the movie interesting? No, it wasn’t”, “She said no to the offer”, “He said no to food”, “No, I will tell him the truth immediately”, “No reader can complete every book on this planet“.

What is Know?

Know is a verb in the English language. It means to be aware or have knowledge of something or someone.

It also implies being sure about someone or something.

Know means to be acquainted with the context where the term is used or to be familiar. Know also means to recognize something or someone easily.

Some exemplar sentences to depict different moods of the term “know” are “I know some trouble is going to happen”, “I know it is her birthday today”, “I know that the fruits are kept in the refrigerator “,

“Do you know that Mrs. Smith teaches us English? “, “She knows this poem by heart”, “His father knows what he is doing”, or “She knows three languages – English, French and Chinese“.

The past tense of know is knew. It denotes things that have already happened. The auxiliary or helping verb of know is “known”.

It denotes a hypothetical or shades of time from the past. The gerund form of the word know is “knowing” and it can be used as a subject.

Other verbs like comprehend, understand or recognize can easily substitute the word know in the sentence. This substitution method can be used to remember the correct usage of the world know.

If it cannot be replaced or substituted by another verb, then probably know is not the correct term for usage.

Main Differences Between No and Know

  1. No is used as a noun, adverb, determiner, and exclamation while know is used only as a verb in the English language.
  2. The Old English word of No is Ne while the Old English word of Know is Cnāwan.
  3. No denotes negative meaning while Know does not denote any negative meaning.
  4. The antonym of no is yes while the antonym of know is forgotten, ignored, dismiss.
  5. No can depict lack of knowledge or awareness while Know can depict the presence of knowledge or awareness.
Difference Between No and Know

Conclusion

Both the words are homophones, which means that their pronunciation is the same. Both the words are commonly used and found in most reading material.

The confusion regarding the usage of the words can be reduced by recognizing the correct spelling of both words.

Another way of recognizing the correct usage of the word is by remembering the definition of both the words and the right context for usage.

Homophones are difficult to differentiate in speech, but the context of usage provides a clear description of the word. The two words, “No” and “Know” are similar in pronunciation but different in meaning.

Knowledge about the meaning of both the words can help in distinguishing both the words from each other as both the words are used commonly in daily speech.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=lang_en&id=NxvnAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=no+and+know&ots=k9gBTzaUqf&sig=8wWOuGQFwL0jVKcDyNqKHebDvvQ
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0193841×9802200102
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