1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

As far as I know

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Etcetera, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Hi all,

    I was once told by my English teacher that it's better to say "to my knowledge" instead of "as far as I know". But in fact, most native speakers, at least here at WR, use the latter. Is there any difference between those two expressions?

    Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. Sallyb36

    Sallyb36 Senior Member

    Liverpool UK
    British UK
    no there isn't, I suppose to my knowledge is more formal and less common.
     
  3. Moogey Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    USA English
    Hi Etcetera,

    No, I'd say there is no difference in the meaning. I prefer "as far as I know" because idiomatic expressions generally sound better, at least to my ears. "To my knowledge" has a literal, non-idiomatic meaning. The former can sound a little stiff and bland, but it is used, in fact :) Hope it helps!

    -M
     
  4. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    I guessed the difference must be pure stylistic, but I wanted to know what native speakers of English have to say about it.
    Thank you very much, Sally and Moogey! :)
     
  5. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    Instead of 'to my knowledge' a better and more usual expression is 'to the best of my knowledge'. The only difference vs. 'as far as I know' would be who you were talking to, the latter being a little more familiar.
     
  6. Bil

    Bil Senior Member

    English USA
    Hi

    Gosh, who's to say whether one expression is better than another. In this case, both are acceptable. Still, if used indiscriminately, the use of 'to my knowledge' could be perceived as conveying a trace of condescension. Whereas, the phrase 'as far as I know' never poses that risk, that's to say, it doesn't to the best of my knowledge, I mean, to the extent of my understanding on the subject, that is, to the degree that I've given any thought to the matter. :)

     
  7. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    As far as I know, Bil is right on.
     
  8. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Thank you, Bil! :)
    A wonderful explanation. :)
     

Share This Page