Is this sentence 'I know him a teacher.' acceptable?



I made the sentence like 'I know him a teacher.' I want to express the sentence containing the meaning of 'I know that he is a teacher.' Can I use the sentence 'I know him a teacher.' instead of 'I know that he is a teacher.'?

I would like to know whether the sentence I made is right or not.


Posted 2016-12-21T10:31:57.670

Reputation: 3 103

3"I know him *as* a teacher" would be acceptable, but I can't explain why you need the preposition as – Mari-Lou A – 2016-12-21T10:34:10.350

3I don't think the omission of to be (I know him to be a teacher) is necessarily ungrammatical, but it sounds very archaic. – Jakub – 2016-12-21T11:12:57.773

2"One that goes with him: I love him for his sake; And yet I know him a notorious liar, Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;" All's Well That Ends Well, Shakespeare. But I think we're encroaching on the ELU territory. – Jakub – 2016-12-21T11:33:14.807

2@Jakub - I wouldn't call that "ELU territory." I think you're simply (and correctly) pointing out that the construct might work as a literary, poetic, or archaic construct, but not in contemporary conversation. – J.R. – 2016-12-21T11:35:52.400

1@Mari-LouA "I know him as a teacher" works, but is slightly different from "I know that he is a teacher". "I know him as a teacher" implies that, while he may have many other traits, you only know him as a teacher. "I know [that] he is a teacher" implies that you know the fact that he is a teacher. – Harrison Paine – 2016-12-21T15:22:36.703

@HarrisonPaine yes, well the OP mentions that sentence too, but he's asking about using the object pronoun, him, and my comment (not an answer) was just that, an observation. – Mari-Lou A – 2016-12-21T15:40:23.747

@Mari-LouA I'm just reminding that "acceptable" doesn't mean "same meaning". "I know him as a teacher" is indeed acceptable English, but might not always be an acceptable replacement for "I know that he is a teacher". Like everything, it depends on context. – Harrison Paine – 2016-12-21T15:47:30.510

I'm not sure you even need to include "I know" as part of your sentence -- saying "He is a teacher." indicates that you know, and is very simple and clear. The only reason to include the fact that you know explicitly would be in the context of other people indicating that they did not know him. – Gus – 2016-12-21T20:04:28.827



We cannot omit to be there (in contemporary English).

I know him to be a teacher is correct. However, it is in a formal register that few native speakers would use unless the occasion called for it.

An example of such a formal occasion might be when giving testimony in a court of law about a person's character:

I know him to be an upstanding member of the community.

or when vouching for someone in a situation where a tone of formality adds gravitas to the opinion:

I know him to be a dedicated employee who always gives his best effort.

The locution would sound strange in situations that do not call for a personal attestation:

I know him to be a rugby fan.marginal

I know these trousers to be a little tight around the waist.jarring


Posted 2016-12-21T10:31:57.670

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2I'm assuming "I know him to be a rugby fan" came up in a murder trial.... – mattdm – 2016-12-22T01:52:39.860


The other answers have good information, but I think the best way to express what you want to say is:

I know he's a teacher.

To further clarify, saying:

I know him as a teacher.

Would be used in a certain situations to imply that your knowledge of him is limited in scope. For example, someone asks you if John would be a good person to invite to join your World of Warcraft clan, you might reply:

I only know him as a teacher, I don't have any idea if he even plays World of Warcraft.


Posted 2016-12-21T10:31:57.670

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Also, maybe a little ironically, "I know him as a teacher" can be an extra endorsement — maybe someone is questioning his skills in that area, and you are saying that yes, you definitely know him as a teacher. It's still limited in scope, but in this case limited in a positive way, not saying you don't know anything else. (See "I know him to be a dedicated employee" in one of the other answers.) – mattdm – 2016-12-22T01:51:41.630


"I know him a teacher"

doesn't seem like it can be right to me unless it's casual/conversational and there's some explicit or implied punctuation, like:

"I know him – a teacher" (i.e. "I know him, he's a teacher")


"I know him, a teacher?" (i.e. "I know him, is he a teacher?").

As has been suggested, something like:

"I know him as a teacher"


"I know him, he's a teacher"

seems more grammatically correct.

There could also be a difference between saying "I know him as a teacher" and "I know that he is a teacher", as the former is more likely to imply a relationship between yourself and the teacher - you are stating that this connection/relationship exists because he is a teacher (perhaps you know because he was your teacher once), whereas the latter could be used to describe someone who you have never even met or communicated with, you're just stating that you know they are a teacher, nothing more. However, this is not strictly the case as you could be talking about someone who is well known in the world for being a singer and actress, which whom you have no personal relationship and still say "I know her as a singer" because that's how you first became aware of the person - because they are a singer.


Posted 2016-12-21T10:31:57.670

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6I upvoted your answer. With all this said, though, I feel I should leave a final recommendation for the O.P.: Stick with I know he's a teacher. That's probably the simplest, most straightforward way to convey the thought. – J.R. – 2016-12-21T11:32:50.250


From a (former) academic's perspective, I'd suggest that "I know him as a teacher" can be taken to imply that you are the teacher and that is how you know him. This introduces ambiguity that "I know that he's a teacher" doesn't have.


Posted 2016-12-21T10:31:57.670

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