Seven English idioms using the word “know”: to be a know-it-all, to know something inside and out, to know something backwards and forwards, to know something like the back of your hand, to know better than to do something, to know the ropes, and before you know it.

Hello, I’m English Teacher Fred and I have some idioms with the word “know” today.

The first one is to be a “know it all”.

“That little know it all, he thinks he knows everything!”

It’s not good to be a know it all. You don’t want to be a know it all. A know it all is a person who thinks they know everything and they don’t really listen to other people. So it’s not good.

“He’s just a know it all, he thinks he knows everything but he doesn’t really.

The next one is to know something “inside and out”. This means you know it really well.

These three idioms are all the same: to know something “inside and out” or to know something “backwards and forwards” or to know something “like the back of your hand.” They all mean that you know something really well.

“I know it inside and out, don’t worry! I know all about it. I know this backwards and forwards. I know it like the back of my hand!”

Because the back of your hand is something you can see easily. You can see it a lot so you know it very well: I know it like the back of my hand. No problem! I know it very well.

The next on is to “know better than” to do something. “You know better than that!”

This might be something that a mother or father would say to their child when their child makes a mistake but they learned already, they know already. But they still do something wrong, they still make a mistake. And the mother or father says, “You know better than that! Why did you do that?”

Today I drove on my motorcycle to school and it looked like it was about to rain but I didn’t wear my raincoat. I knew better than to go to school on my motorbike without a raincoat. Because the sky was cloudy, it was about to rain. I knew better than to do that. But I did it anyway. I made a mistake. I knew better than that. I knew better than to go on my motorbike with no raincoat at this time of year when it often rains at this time of day. Oh well, I knew better than that but I did it anyway. I made a mistake.

The next one is to “know the ropes”. This is also like the other ones: know something like the back of your hand.

If you know the ropes then you know it very well. This is often in a working situation. At your job maybe a new employee comes to your job, an new worker comes to your job and your boss says, “Why don’t you show him the ropes.” Because you know the ropes.

This is a second way to use this idiom: show them the ropes, show him the ropes. It means show him how to do the job.

Because you know the ropes, you know how to do it, so you can show him the ropes.

The ropes- I don’t know, maybe it comes from the ship, the boat, when they’re working with ropes so you “know the ropes”. You know something well. You can show another person the ropes.

And here’s one more: “before you know it”.

If something will happen “before you know it” it means it happens very quickly and easily.

If you listen to English every day, work on your English every day, then before you know it, you’ll be speaking fluent English.

Right? Before you know it, it will happen. It will just happen quickly and easily. If you study a little every day, before you know it you’ll be speaking English.

Okay, so that’s seven idioms with the word “know”.

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