Is the below sentence grammatically correct?

Know not what you know.

closed as off topic by MetaEd, Hellion, Kristina Lopez, aedia λ, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jun 13 '13 at 16:12

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  • Yes. It's grammatically correct. Compare with similar structures, that may help you see the grammar here. – Kris Jun 9 '13 at 5:09
  • You should strongly consider becoming a regular on English Language Learners Q&A ell.stackexchange.com – Kris Jun 9 '13 at 5:10
  • 1
    meta: Is it time ELU starts calling itself "Advanced English" or something like it (if only to suggest that it has a younger sister on SE)? – Kris Jun 9 '13 at 5:13
  1. Assuming that the OP is confining the analysis to imperative sentences / sentence fragments, and

  2. Switching to a more tractable example (the original looks suspiciously like a corrupt quote (' ...he knows not what he knows...'):

Come, Lord, and tarry not.

(line from an old hymn)

Here, the archaic negative imperative is used - but the construction is just that, archaic. Except for effect / old times' sake, the regular negation ('do not tarry') (or more idiomatically, 'be quick about it') would always be chosen nowadays.

If a declarative sentence was intended, the construction is again archaic:

He knows not what to do. (archaic)

He doesn't know what to do. (modern idiomatic)

  • Thanks Edwin...Would the phrase in question communicate - un-know what you know or you don't know what you know? – Nikhila Jun 8 '13 at 8:40
  • Without context, it would communicate to me 'Read something else.' – Edwin Ashworth Jun 8 '13 at 9:07

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