Improve your Vocabulary: Stop saying I KNOW!


How to get one million followers... hey, you know, I was just reading this book and we

could get lots of people to watch us if we changed a couple of things.

Oh, I know.


Hi, James from engVid.

Mr. E seems to know everything.

You know what's interesting about knowing everything?

You actually stop knowing anything at all.


What I want to do on today's lesson is I want to talk about the word "I know".

It is a word that is used by many English speakers who are just starting to learn the


In fact, it's used a lot by native speakers, unthinkingly, to cover all sorts of situations.

In today's lesson, I'm going to give you some new phrases, I'm going to give you some new

vocabulary that we can take the same idea that comes from "I know" and use it to further

our communication skills.

Now, why is this important?

A lot of times, we watch videos and they give you the tools but don't explain why or where

you'll use them.

I like to make sure I take an opportunity in this video to make sure I not only teach

you why but where it is most beneficial for you to use the new vocabulary.

You ready?

Let's go to the board.

Now, when you look at the words here "I know", I've outlined or really put "no" in a big


We even say the word "no", and when in English we say "no" it means "stop" or "I don't like"

or something negative.

When you use "I know" in a sentence and it's not used in its most effective manner, it

tends to stop conversation or make people feel as though you're not listening and they're

not understood, which makes difficult conversations actually more difficult and go on longer.

Now, before I say another word, I want to say hello to Prachi and Andrew.

We met at the McCaul eating area, and you guys were having a conversation and you were

really graceful and great and allowed me to use some of this lesson on you and help me

fix this lesson up, so I greatly appreciate that.

And this English saves conflict resolution.

I want to use a quote from Theodore Roosevelt.

He's a former American president.

Most of you won't know who he is because he's been dead a long time.

One of their better presidents, and he had a quote that I really like that kind of helps

with this lesson.

Theodore said, "Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care".

I want to change that last statement of "care" to "understand".

Once people understand that you have an interest in what you're saying, then they know that

you care.

And, funny enough, "understand" is one of the words we're going to use instead of "know"

in order to create greater communication skills.

Now that you know why we're doing the lesson:

* To further your communication *

* Make sure you're understood *

* Let people know you understand them *

Why don't we get to the lesson, right?

Now, the best way to go about this is to look at what does "know" mean?

It's a short form of "knowledge", it's a verb, which is nice, but what it really means is

to know something means you know something through information, observation, or inquiry.

Inquiry means to ask questions.

If you ask a question, then you'll get to know something, alright?

"Why is the sky blue?"

Blah blah blah blah, I will tell you, now you know.

Observation, now you watch.

You see two bunnies running across the grass, it's springtime, one bunny jumps atop the

other bunny, they're playing, you know why they're doing that, alright?

And information; you read something or you watch a video or a YouTube video and you learn.

Now, that's knowing something.

But if you notice something, when we talk about knowing in this particular case, knowing

is not actually talking about understanding.

Although people confuse these two words, they don't really appreciate how those two words

can affect a conversation.

I'm going to borrow a cell phone for a second, and I want to show you something.

All of you have used cell phones before, and you know how to use them.

I know you do, right?

I say to text me "blah blah blah" send me this "blah blah blah".

Now, what happens if I took this cell phone, I took it apart to all the smallest parts

and laid them on the floor, okay?

And I said to you "Put them together".

Could you do that?


So you know how to use the technology, but you don't understand how it works to put it

back together again.

And that's the power of the words that I'm going to give you now.

That'll give you that power of putting it back together and even creating something

new out of it and creating greater communication skills.

So, let's start over here.

I said stop saying "I know".

I give you five phrases to improve the communication, so let's talk about number one: "recognize".

Right in the middle of "cog" means "thinking".

"Cognition", thinking, and recognize means to go back and to think.

The meaning of "recognize" here is to acknowledge a truth, existence, or validity of something.

That's a lot of noise and movement.

It's to say I notice what you said and what you said had some truth to it.

Notice I didn't say "I know", I said "I noticed".

I could say "I know what you said, and when you said it to me, there was some truth that

I have to say is true".

When something's valid, we say there's truth to it and acknowledge saying "I'm going to

say this is true".

So, that's more than I know.

When you say - if I say to you "It's raining outside" and you go "I know" and I might say

that I recognize that the weather is bad, not only do I have this knowledge, I'm saying

there's validity to what you're saying, alright?

Cause it's not just "it's raining", you're saying the weather is bad, there's a bit more

to it.

And on that, I'm going to come back when I talk about understanding intent.

The second, and this is different than "I know", but it's "from my perspective".

When you say "from my perspective", it is to give your opinion and attitude on a subject,

but "spec" meaning "to look at", you're actually saying "I see this".

I see what you're saying because I'm aware of what you're saying.

In other words, I know what you're saying, and I see from this knowledge of knowing what

you are saying to me.

That was nice, right, from this knowledge of knowing, I have an opinion on that.

So, I have the same knowledge you have, but the way I interpret it, the way I feel about

it, the way I see it is different than you.

So that is acknowledging the person saying I know it, got it, okay, cool, but I see it

in a different way.

For instance, I'm standing here.

And when I'm standing here, they're different positions, although we're in the same room,


So, you can use that one.

So, "From my perspective, that's an interesting point" means I know what you're talking about

and I like it.


Appreciate is an interesting word, because by itself, I always think "appreciate" means

"to be thankful", to say thanks for something.

"I appreciate you helping me", I'm really -- I'm thankful for it.

When I look at appreciate and we use it instead of "I know", it's saying I recognize the implications

and true value of the subject.

An example of this would be if someone says to you "Hey look, if you don't get enough

sleep tonight, you won't be able to catch the train in the morning because it's really


And I might say instead of "Oh, I know", I go "I appreciate you telling me that".

It means "thank you" because there are implications if I don't get up, I will miss my train, and

there's a value to you telling me that because getting the train is important to me.

While "I know" just means "I have the information, I have the knowledge" but it shows no value

in saying "thank you for doing that for me".

So, you notice a lot of times if you say "Oh, I appreciate you saying that", people will

step back and give you some room because you're saying "thank you", so they know "Oh, you

heard me and you like - not like, but are thankful for me saying it".

You may have to go on and say something different, but they will appreciate that you took the

time to listen instead of saying "I know".


Now, I started off over here talking about understand and I said it was an important


The difference, as I showed you with the cell phone, between "understand" and "know", when

you know something you have the information.

When you understand, here's what's important - you perceive the intended meaning.

Now, I used the difference between being able to put a cell phone together and knowing how

to use one, okay?

When people are speaking to you, sometimes they're trying to say more than the words

they give you and saying "I know" doesn't show that you actually have paid attention

and you got the message they were really trying to get to you.

An example would be when someone says - if you said, "Look, if you keep being late, it's

not great.

You might end up losing your job", you say "I understand" versus "I know".

"I know" means "of course", that's what happens, you keep telling me I'm late, I lose my job.

"I understand" means "Okay, you're giving me an opportunity, you hope I recognize what

I'm doing is incorrect right now and you hope I change my behavior".

Whoa, where did that come from?

Well, that's what understand means.

It means I heard you, I'm taking some information in, I know what you're intending to say to

me and I'm not getting fired yet, but it's a possibility if the behavior doesn't change.

"I know", saying "I know" in this case means I'm aware of the situation, I know your part,

my part, or your position, my position, but it doesn't give us any room of, like, I understand

where you're coming from, because it's saying something like "You're always late and if

you continue you might lose your job", you're saying you're actually kind of concerned about

me losing my job, and saying "I know" kind of doesn't give back that emotional bond.

And this is what I was talking about with communication.

You can say anything you like and you don't even have to take this lesson at all.

You can say "Yeah whatever, I know is good enough", but by varying your speech, you'll

notice that you're giving back not only information "I understand what you're saying and I was

listening to you", alright, but also "I care", or in some cases "Thank you for saying it",

or "I heard what you said but I see it differently, "I recognize some of what you say is true."

Alright, and this is changing it, and it shows the mastery - your mastery of my language,

of the English language, cool?

So, understand is very good one, "I understand", because it means I do know what you're saying

and there's even more, I'm getting more out of it, what you're trying to give me, and

that is your intended meaning.

Perceive is to see.

Now, I said perceive is "to see".

Funny enough, number five: I see.

This is a really good one, because it's similar to the rest and "I see" doesn't seem to be

"I know it all", like, they're not even related.

More on that in a second.

I actually had a friend who told me a few weeks ago he had a situation where he was

going to look at an apartment and he really wanted the landlord to know he was serious

about taking the apartment.

Now, when the landlord was showing him the fuse box or this little electric thing, it

wasn't a big deal, he said "Oh I know" and all this stuff, he never said that.

He said, on purpose, "I see, I see", hm.

Smart guy.

He could have said "I know" and probably would have gone off, you know, gone along with it,

but he knew the landlord might not like it or perceive him as arrogant or talking down,

but his saying "I see" was a way for him to say "I'm listening to you.

I'm really paying attention.

I'm taking this information in, and thank you, I got it".

I see - to show you are paying attention and understanding.

He knew that.

Now, most of you when I said "I know, I know" and you're saying "I'm smart, I get it", but

you want the person to know you're actually listening and paying attention, "I see" is


And even the way we say it, we go "I see, I see", we slow it down.

"I see... yeah...

I see... yeah, I see".

And all of the sudden, magically, "I know" becomes "I see" and the person is like "You

really listened very well" versus "I know, mmhmm, I know" because even when I say it

like this [slower] "I know" means I have a better idea or another idea versus "I see".

All the same tonality, but one is I'm taking in what you're saying, you're important, I

need to understand you, versus everything I do is more important, cool?


So now that I've taught you why we're doing this, and we've talked about - I gave you

some things about a change in grammar and form.

Oh, and before I go there, I want to talk about another way of saying "I know", which

is what is what we call colloquial, the common people use it, and it's not to say "I know"

but it's to change it up so you're not just saying words, you have some phrases.

That was part of the deal when I said how we're going to change it, I will teach you


Here are some phrases.

What's interesting about these phrases is that they follow the kinesthetic, auditory,

and visual models.

That's right, I was ready for you to go "What is he talking about?

I don't know, he just went crazy!

Brain does not work!"

Okay, auditory - sound, audio.

Visual - to see.

And kinesthetic, that nice long word, is just movement, body movement, though I don't rock

like I used to, okay.

Now, not everybody - we actually speak and we learn in three different modes.

I've done a couple of videos where I've mentioned them before, some of the best ways of learning

and how you can use the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic way to improve your learning

of English or any subject for that matter, but we also speak in this way.

Not all the time, but depending on how a person is thinking, they may use one of these models

to explain what's going on or the thought process in their head at this time.

And one of the best ways to communicate you're listening and understand them is to what I

call "copy" that model.

If someone says something like "That looks good", you can say "I see what you mean".

I'm using "look" and "see" which are similar verbs to show that I'm thinking the same way

you are, and it shows a connection.

It enhances or helps the communication get better, cool?

So, these three phrases are in different ways of communicating your thought pattern to people

in the audio, visual, or kinesthetic model, cool?

I know, I got all schoolsy there, oh, I got goosebumps.

So, the first one is "I hear what you're saying", alright.

It's like "I know", "Yeah, I get it", "I hear what you're saying", "I have the knowledge

you're giving me now".

Remember we talked about how you get information?

Someone gives you information, you can say "I know".

Well you can say "I hear what you're saying".

I'm receiving the information, and that is auditory.

The next one we can use, which is visual, is "I get the picture".

I see a picture in my head of what you mean, so now I know.

If someone says "I want a red sweater with a hood" "Okay, I get the picture".

I can see it in my head, okay.

And you can say "I see what you mean", alright, "I see what you mean".

And that's visual.

The last one is "I catch your drift".

Remember when I told you about new vocabulary?

Here it comes, son!

Drift is a movement, but when you're drifting, you're not going in a straight direction,

like this is direct.

If you're drifting, you're kind of going this way and that way.

A good example is me through high school, I drifted through there.

It wasn't straight like this, it was like grade 9... grade 10... grade 11... not direct

route, okay?

If that doesn't help you, sometimes when they're falling asleep when they're driving, the car's

going, woo, it's drifting.

It's going in a direction, but it's going kind of a little off, so it's movement.

Drift is a movement, not a direct movement, it's like a subtle, soft movement.

So, when someone says "I catch your drift", it means you're giving me something and you're

giving me an idea and I'm like "Okay, I've got it.

I've got that information now".

So, I catch your drift.

I catch what you're saying, cool?

So, these are for the auditory, visual, and the kinesthetic.

So, you've got three phrases, you've got another two, I guess, we've got one new phrase and

four new words for "I know".

So, I think if we've learned enough we always do the quiz, so I think it's time for us to

see, and I know you see what I'm going to get at, right?

Quiz time, are you ready?

Let's go!

Okay, it is quiz time, and I know you're looking forward to it, right?

And I don't blame you.

There's something really exciting about getting knowledge, yeah?

So, let's go to the board and take - I want to do a quick quiz and then I want to talk

about where we can use or apply this knowledge.

Sometimes, I think we miss this in the videos where we teach you these things, we say "here

you go, great!" and then we forget to say "You know what, it's best to use this when

you're doing this...", okay?

So, let's go over here.

The first one I want to look at is "I don't like the sound of that".

Now, when I gave you an example and we were talking about speaking to people for better

communication, this is a question that's going to reveal if you understand what would be

the best way, because they're quite similar, so let's look at "I don't like the sound of


Which one should you - or which one is the best one to use, the best response to use

to show that you understand them?

* I hear what you are you saying? *


* I appreciate what you are saying.

* Good.

You thought about it and you looked at the key difference, or you looked at something

that we talked about: auditory learning.

And here we're talking about sound and hearing.

So, although they say - you know, I appreciate is like "Thank you, thanks for saying that,

giving me the information", it sounds so great, but hold on a second, if you really want to

hit it on the head, you want to get it as close as you can, "hear" and "sound" are talking

about auditory way of communicating, and that would be the best one to use, even though

both could be appropriate, this would be the best one.

See, this quiz isn't about knowing whether to say "appreciate" or "see" or what have

you, it's how well you understand it, alright?

So, we get to the best communication we can, the best level of communication.

What about the next one?

"What I'm telling you could get a lot of people hurt if this information is used incorrectly."

What is the best answer here?

Once again, both work, because I know some of you right now when you see:

* I understand.

* and

* I see.

* go "Look, 'I understand' works and 'I see'


Yes, but in the lesson I gave you specific reasons why you might want to change and might

want to use one over the other.

I want to see if you caught that and think which it might be.

Okay, people getting hurt.

If you were going to get hurt, would you want someone to listen very carefully to why you

might get hurt?

Probably so, right?

You'd be like "I hope you understand.

Listen to me carefully and understand".

"I understand" is part of it.

"I understand" means I understand.

"I see" means "I'm listening very carefully and I understand".

That deepens your communication skills or your listening skills.

Do you remember what I said at the beginning of the video that we're going to be working

on listening skills, and it's like "Well how, we're using the word 'I know'".

You have to listen well to give the right answer back to the person listening.

"I see" is the correct one here simply because you're saying not only do I understand, of

course, but I'm listening very carefully right now and to any further information you might

give me, because a lot of people might get hurt.

This is important stuff.

It's not enough to understand, cool?


Because I know a lot of people go "They're similar!"

I know, but it's the little differences that make the big difference in being understood

by other people and people go "Oh okay, you're listening, cool, we can have a real conversation".

Now, this one.

"I __________ what you're saying has some merit."

Merit means value, so we're saying value or some truth to it, alright?

So, which one would be the best one to say?

"I recognize", or "I know"?

* recognize *

* know *

Yeah, you remember when I talked about using recognize, we talked about something being

valid, or having validity, right?

So, you saying "I know" is kind of okay, but "recognize" is adding like, almost doubling

it, like I recognize the merit.

I see the value of what you're saying and I know it's got some truth to it.

That's why we'd use this one, so A's the best answer here.

You could say "I know", but once again, it's showing a limited understanding of the English


You learn one word and use it like a multitool, they have little pegs, you get like a knife,

you get a screwdriver, sometimes a little gun, oh there's no gun in a multitool, you


But instead of using it like that, you're like "Hey, you know what, I've got tools in

my pocket, and I want to start using them to show that I'm an intelligent individual

who is adaptable and can use different words or vocabulary or phrases in the appropriate

situation instead of using the same one over and over like a robot", and we know you're

not a robot, because we made you do that test before you watched the video.


Finally, "I have _________ her for 5 years.

She is a good woman."

Would we say I have

* seen *

* known* *

(Hint hint: asterisk).

I'll give you a second to figure it out.

Alright, some of you were like well look, a couple of things are going on.

James is saying don't use "know", that's the new word, we've got new words.

And "seen" is the a present perfect being used properly, both of them are.

But hold on a second.

I didn't talk about "known".

Knowledge, remember, we talked about is information, inquiry, right, that's how you get it, or


Well, another meaning for to know someone is to have a relationship with them.

So, if I have known Mr. E for ten years, it means we have a relationship.

We talk to each other, we hang out or whatever, we have some kind of connection.

It's not just having information on that person or observing them or asking questions, there's

a relationship.

And I do this because sometimes when people learn some new information, they throw all

the old information out.

In English we have an idiom, it's called "throwing the baby out with the bathwater".

You never want to do that!

You wash your baby, she's clean, the last thing you want to do is take the dirty water

and the baby and go "Okay, out we go!".

No, you want to keep the baby, maybe get rid of some of the stuff that wasn't necessary.

And in this case, I want to come back to known saying sometimes the best word to word is

"know" or "known", especially if we're talking about relationships.

So, in this case, I have known her for five years.

We have had a relationship for five years.

And that's how I know she is a good woman, it's not just observation, it's through our


To say I have seen her is correct grammar, yes, but not the correct meaning, and this

is what this whole lesson was about, improving your communication skills, your understanding

of English, and you being able to be understood and having people understand you.

And I know you did a good job on this quiz, so I know that you have passed with flying


See, I said "I know" through observation, right?

Now, as always, we have our bonus section because now you've learned the main lesson.

What's the opposite of "I know"?

"I don't know", or "I didn't know".

So we'll learn the positive and the negative so you don't keep saying "I don't know" "I

don't know", you can say different things.

One thing we say instead of saying "I don't know" is "I misread it".

Now, can I tell you something funny about all these things here?

I'm going to read them and then explain them.

Misread, misunderstood, mixed up, confused.

It's funny, when I know something is very direct, "I know, I know!".

But when we don't know something, it's like "I was confused!

It's not my fault!

I was mixed up, I was in the wrong direction, I misread it, I mean, I thought I knew but..."

see, it's never our fault.

So, when we don't know something; "It's not my fault, man, it's not my fault, I misread

the situation".

But when I get it right it's "I know, I knew, I have known!

Hahaha", puff our chest out.

Just this little aside, because you'll notice like "mis, mis, mis" mixed up, confused, it's

all like "the air did it", "a birdie did it", "It wasn't me, it was not my fault", but knowing

has the arrogance of "yes, yes, me know right, me always good" alright?

Just getting that out there.

English is a very funny language.

Pay attention, you'll laugh like me.

So, to misread something.

You know what to read means.

To misread it means you read it but you maybe made a mistake, so instead of seeing "an"

you saw "and" or you saw "and" by mistake you said "Oh, I thought it was the chicken

and steak, I didn't know it was chicken or steak, I misread it", okay.

It means to judge or interpret something incorrectly.

So, you're looking at it and maybe you think "Um I'm two feet away" and you jump and say

"Oh, I was three feet away.

I misread it."

Made a small mistake, okay?

So I didn't know.

"Misunderstood" is an incorrect judgement.

They are very similar, but the whole point of this lesson is not to teach you one thing

and teach you they're all the same thing.

We want to be able to change up our language, okay.

So, I misunderstood you.

Misreading is like "I see it, I look at it, I make a wrong judgement".

Misunderstood was when I had one idea and I thought you meant this but that's not what

you meant.

I misunderstood you.

So, I had this idea I had in my head, I judged it, I got the information wrong in my head,

so I misunderstood you, alright?

Now, that's an incorrect judgement.

"Mix something up" is to be confused.

So, if you mix something up, let me give you an example.

I have three markers, okay.

I put them down and I want to keep the blue marker in my hand, but because I got blue

and black and I wasn't paying attention and I switched them because they were in my hand

like this, I switched it like this, I wanted to keep the blue but I put the blue down by

accident because I mixed them up.

Oh, I mixed them up and I wanted the other one.

Here's a great example.

Mr. E and I are going out for drinks.

This one is gin and this one is vodka.

Gin and vodka look almost exactly the same by the way.

They are both white liquids of alcohol.

Now this one's gin, this one's vodka.

Mr. E loves his vodka and I only love gin.

But, by accident, I put the glasses down, I turn around, I come back, and I give him...

you noticed they're in the wrong place?

Well, I've mixed them up, I changed their position.

So, they're both still valid but I've moved them and put them in the wrong place.

And that's why when we say you've mixed something up, in my head, I mixed it up.

I had the information, but I put it in the wrong place so I got the wrong answer.

Similar thinking to this is "confused".

When I'm confused about something, I have information but I don't really understand


My thinking on it is not clear, I couldn't make a picture in my mind to really understand

what I was looking at to know it for 100 percent.

So, sometimes some people say "I got confused when you said this or that" which means similar

to "mixed up", is to take two things and put them in different places, like I confused

Johnny with Tommy, alright?

I mixed them up.

I confused your meaning.

I thought you meant this, but you meant this, but I confused it.

I got the wrong answer, or I was not clear on my thinking on that.



I've given you bonus, I've given you a test, there's only one more thing I would like you

to do.

And I'd like to say this is, like, my thank you to you, because at the end of the videos

I usually say "thank you" and you go "How does giving me homework say 'thank you'"?

Well, if you stayed this long and worked this long, you've really wanted to learn and I've

always wanted to give you a tool you can use afterwards to improve your learning or enhance

your learning.

One of the tools is to do homework to give you something to, you know, go deeper, go

study on your own.

Another one is to get you involved with a community of people who are also studying

English so that you can exchange information.

I've seen it happen before, and then people get to grow that way, by getting more people

interested in the same thing they are.

And, in this case, this is one of those things right now.

I've got two statements, so I want you to correct one of these statements in the comments

and you will receive one million points!

That's right!

No cheapness, no one, no one thousand, one million points you will get.

So, the two comments I have for you, and I want you to look at them carefully.

In the black, I want you to change, or exchange the thing in the black to one of the things

I've taught you today.

Either the top five things you can say instead of "I know", or one of the phrases (hint hint,

it's not a phrase), or it might be something from the bonus section, okay, the "I don't

know" statements.

Now remember, if the person gets it right, you are to give it a thumbs up.

If they've got it wrong, give it a thumbs down.

So you're going to get instant information on whether you get your million, ten million,

fifteen or seventeen million points, alright?

So the first one is "I am thankful for the information".

I want you to think about one of the five that I gave you that talks about being thankful,


The second one is "I confused which drink went with whom".

Whom means "to who", okay?

So, those are the two statements.

I want you to think about it now, kind of helped you a little bit, I think you'll do

a great job.

Once again, thank you very much for watching our videos.

I appreciate that you take your time out of a busy day to come watch and learn with us,

and I love doing this for you.

Now, if you want to get more videos like this, okay, and do the actual quiz that will go

a little bit deeper into what we've learned today, I'd like you to go to

and do the quizzes there and look at the other teachers that we have available.

Anyway, you have a brilliant day and I'll see you soon, okay?