Using the correct preposition after “knowledge” is incredibly important. Make sure you understand what each one is before you end up using the wrong one. Consistency is key here, and in this article, we’ll look at the differences between “knowledge on, of, and about.”
Is It “Knowledge On,” “Knowledge Of,” Or “Knowledge About”?
“Knowledge on” should be used when talking about a field or subject without any personal attachment to it. “Knowledge of” should be used when you are familiar with a subject you’re talking about. “Knowledge about” should be used synonymously with “knowledge on.”
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “knowledge” means “the state of knowing about or being familiar with something.”
There is plenty of overlap between the meanings of “knowledge on” and “knowledge about.” We use it when we want to generally talk about whether we know about a particular subject or study, but we might not know much more than that. It’s merely accepting (or denying) that something exists.
“Knowledge of” is used more specifically to show that we have personal experience with whatever we’re talking about. It’s good to use in most cases when we are able to share a little more about what we know about it (or potentially don’t know).
Is “Knowledge On,” “Knowledge Of,” Or “Knowledge About” Used The Most?
We thought it would help you to understand the differences between the three phrases by looking at their usage over time. While there will be obvious differences in key usage, that doesn’t mean you’re not able to use any of the three prepositions (provided the context calls for it).
According to this graph, “knowledge of” is used the most, while “knowledge on” and “knowledge about” are fairly equally used. “Knowledge of” is used the most because we typically use “knowledge” when talking about things we’re personally familiar with.
This personal distinction is what sets up the major difference between “knowledge of” and the other two. It’s more common to come across something that we have familiarity with (which is when we use “knowledge of”).
Typically, “knowledge on” and “knowledge about” are both used more commonly when we’re talking about knowledge that we don’t have in a field or subject. This is because we want to show that we don’t have a personal connection or understanding to it.
- I have knowledge of computers. (This means that the person speaking knows a lot about computers).
- I have no knowledge on/about this matter. (Either of these are used to deny any knowledge about something and usually show that a personal connection cannot be made).
7 Examples Of How To Use “Knowledge On” In A Sentence
While it’s great to know about the usage differences and the general meaning, we always like to go one step further. We’ll introduce you to some examples of each phrase used. Examples are some of the best ways for you to learn exactly how you should be phrasing your sentences.
“Knowledge on” is mostly used when we don’t have a personal connection or understanding of something. We use it in the more general sense, and it’s mostly used in a negative way (“no knowledge on”).
- I have no knowledge on this topic, so you should ask someone else.
- He has knowledge on planes, but I couldn’t care less about it.
- I have no knowledge on computer science, sorry.
- I have some knowledge on this, but not a lot.
- We need to get knowledge on what to do next because we’re at a loss right now.
- What knowledge on this topic are you able to provide for us?
- I have no knowledge on these case studies.
As you can see, we typically deny knowledge when we use “knowledge on.” It’s used in a general sense to convey this information.
“Knowledge on” is the least popular choice of the three, and many people prefer the synonymous alternative “knowledge about.”
7 Examples Of How To Use “Knowledge Of” In A Sentence
Now let’s go over when to use “knowledge of.” This is the most popular choice of the three, and incidentally is the easiest of them to get correct. You don’t need to find specific situations where “knowledge of” works because it can be used in all of them.
For the most part, “knowledge of” is used when we want to talk about our personal experience with something or how well we understand it. We’re admitting that we know about the thing, but the level of knowledge is dependent on the context.
- I have knowledge of computer science that I’d be happy to share with you.
- I have plenty of knowledge of accounting and what software to use.
- Do you have knowledge of social differences in this city?
- I have no knowledge of these things, but I can learn about them.
- I have knowledge of all the major historical events in our country.
- She has knowledge of plenty of things. She’s perhaps the smartest person I know.
- We have knowledge of projects, and we’re looking to form a team.
From these examples, we can see that “knowledge of” works, even when we deny the knowledge of something. That’s because it’s the most common choice, and it’s chosen by native speakers to work in just about any situation.
7 Examples Of How To Use “Knowledge About” In A Sentence
Let’s also look at when “knowledge about” is used. It’s synonymous with “knowledge on” but happens to be a slightly more common phrase to use.
“Knowledge about” is used when talking about a general understanding of a topic. We can use it without a personal connection, just like “knowledge on,” but we don’t always have to deny the information.
- Do you have any knowledge about geographical events in the last five years?
- I have limited knowledge about this topic.
- I have no knowledge about anything you just presented to me.
- What knowledge about this subject can you share with me?
- Do you have any knowledge about computers?
- I have plenty of knowledge about computers, but nothing that will specifically help.
- I have knowledge about certain things, but this isn’t one of them.
As you can see, “knowledge about” is a very general phrase. We usually ask someone for help with something when we see it used. However, they don’t always have the required “knowledge” that we’re after.
Knowledge On/Of/About – Synonyms
We think it’s smart to look at synonyms and alternatives to help you understand the phrases a little better. Rather than worrying about prepositions, these will set you up nicely with a similar word that works just as well without any of the problematic rules!
- I (do not) know
We can use this phrase to simply make “I have knowledge of” less wordy. “I have knowledge on” becomes “I know” in exactly the same way. It saves on word usage and streamlines the sentence, which is ideal when you’re writing, especially in formal situations.
- I am informed
“Informed” is a good verb to replace “knowledge.” However, the only problem you might come across is that it’s usually followed by prepositions of its own that change the meaning (“informed on” and “informed about,” for example).
Which Other Prepositions Can Be Used With “Knowledge”?
While “knowledge on,” “knowledge of,” and “knowledge about” have all been explained, sometimes words have extra prepositions that can come on at the end of it. There’s only one other word you might see appear after “knowledge.”
“That” is a determiner that can come after “knowledge.” It is used to determine the next clause but otherwise has no related use to the above.
- I have knowledge that will blow your mind.
- I have no knowledge that will help you here.
How Should You Use “Knowledgeable”?
There’s also the case of using “knowledgeable” when you want to instead of “knowledge.
“Knowledgeable” is an adjective meaning that someone is intelligent or well-informed on a particular topic. Typically, we say “I have knowledge” but “I am knowledgeable.” The preposition “in” is the most common word to follow it.
- I am knowledgeable in this field, and I’m happy to help.
- I am knowledgeable in internet technology.
- I am not knowledgeable in historical affairs.
To use the adjective form, we have to use “am” (or any other verb forms of “to be” depending on the pronoun). We use this to allow ourselves to use the descriptive word “knowledgeable.”
Is It Ever Correct To Use “A Knowledge”?
“Knowledge” is an uncountable noun. We use “a” when we are working with countable nouns (meaning numbers can be given to them). In this case, “a knowledge” is grammatically incorrect and should never be used.
- Correct:I have knowledge of this idea!
- Incorrect:I have a knowledge of this idea!
Is It Ever Correct To Use “Knowledges”?
Finally, just like we mentioned above, “knowledges” would only work if “knowledge” was a countable noun.
We add “S” to the end of words when they are countable. “Knowledge” is uncountable, meaning it follows different plural rules. The plural of “knowledge” is “knowledge.”
There are no cases where “knowledges” is correct to use.
You may also like: 11 Words For Someone Who Loves Seeking Knowledge
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.