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Difference Between Now and Know

Now vs Know

In its most basic sense, the words “now” and “know” shouldn’t be confused with each other as “now” denotes time while “know” pertains to a sense of understanding or having knowledge. By this it means that having known or knowing something signifies that you have internalized some information inside your head. Like when you ask, “What is happening now?” you are asking about the current activity at the present time. In another question, “Do you know of someone by the name of…” it seeks (from the one being asked) some knowledge or understanding about the question.

“Now” can serve multiple roles as an adverb, conjunction, adjective, and noun. As an adverb, it pertains to the current time (excludes everything in the future and in the past). Another adverb role of “now” is in the sentence, “Let’s answer the exam now!” wherein there is some sense of urgency in the action which must be done at once. If you use “now” like this, “We can’t do anything now.” the message implied is more in the present situation rather than in the present time. The word “now” can also be used along with some time indicators in a single sentence like “…for ten days now.” which implies that an action or event has been occurring for some time already up to the present. “Now” can be a preface word for statements or remarks that warrant somebody else’s attention, “Now what will you do?” In addition, the word “now” also has an informal use when you are somewhat hesitating like in the sentence, “Now where were we?”

With regard to its other functions, “now” can also serve as a conjunction similar to the word “since” as in the sentence “He can buy an expensive smartphone now that he has a good-paying job.” As a noun, the word “now” shares the same meaning or definition when it is used as an adverb to denote time. In the example, “Now is the perfect opportunity to confess my feelings to her.” The word “now” has become the subject and, therefore, the noun of the sentence while retaining the same meaning of current time. As an adjective, “now” can be used like this, “The now look in womenswear fascinates fashion experts.” This informal usage of “now” describes the word “look” and means “the latest fashion trend.”

By contrast, the word “know” is mostly used as a verb either in its transitive or intransitive forms like, “I know he can make it!” In this example, there is that firm belief or conviction that something will really take place. In another example, “I know all about the elements in the periodic table.” This would mean that the knowledge is firmly secured in the mind or, at least, attached to the memory.


1.“Now” denotes the time at present while “know” pertains to a sense of understanding about particular information or subject matter.
2.“Now” can also be used informally as an adjective and as an adverb when hesitating.
3.As an adverb, “now” can indicate a sense of urgency and grabs somebody else’s attention when prefaced in a sentence.
4.“Know” is mostly used as a verb.

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