know about the kidnapping


Senior Member
a. The children know about kidnapping their dog.
b. The children know about the kidnapping of their dog.

Do these mean:
a-They know their dog has been kidnapped

Let us say someone has planned to kidnap their dog but has not done so yet. The kids know about the plan. Could one use these sentences to express that idea?

I think (b) strongly implies that the kidnapping has already taken place.

I don't like (a) but I think it is grammatical and could be used in many cases (the dog has been kidnapped, there is a plan to kidnap the dog, they know who did it, they know how it was done...)

(b) also seems to me to be quite versatile. They have information about the kidnapping or just know that it has happened... But can (b) be used if there is a plan to kidnap the dog?

I just wanted to know how those sentences can be used and I am trying to take into account all possibilities.
Any input as to the possible meanings of and distinctions between those sentences will be appreciated.

Many thanks
  • GMF1991

    Senior Member
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    Personally, (a) seems to indicate that the children know how to kidnap their dog. I'm sure that isn't the intended meaning.
    (b) Definitely gives the idea that the kidnapping has happened, and the children have been informed at some point, I don't think that there are any other timing constraints to the phrases other than they are both past tense.

    I hope that this helps you :)