The sentence I'm writing goes like this:

As much as I love the pure sciences, I know now a well-rounded education is valuable.

But the words "know" and "now" are so similar that every time I read it, I keep reading it as "I now know" and go back after realizing my mistake. The sentence comes near the end of my essay, so such interruption really breaks the flow of the writing.

So is there any preferred order or rule in the phrasing? Or is it just me who's having trouble, and other people will have no problem reading it?

EDIT: I think the wording is awkward to read because "I" and "now" have similar vowel sounds, so you automatically expect to read it as "I now know."

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    The sentence would benefit from a that, between now and a well-rounded.... But it doesn't much matter whether you say I know now that a well-rounded... or I now know that a well-rounded... – WS2 Dec 30 '16 at 19:01
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    I would argue that now know more strongly emphasizes the temporal aspect of the phrase, stressing the change in what you know from what you knew previously more than the alternative phrasing. But it's a tiny difference, and there will be no ambiguity of meaning, at all, either way. I say this one is down to style and preference in a composition. – Upper_Case Dec 30 '16 at 19:31
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    I also stumbled over the phrase while reading the sentence. My mind expected it to say now know. Also, I agree with the recommendation to include a that. – Tony DiRienzo Dec 31 '16 at 4:04

I agree with the person who says you would benefit from a 'that', but you might also benefit from a rewording to avoid interruption or misunderstanding in the first place:

'As much as I love the pure sciences, I now realise/recognise that a well-rounded education is valuable.'

If you must stick with the current phraseology, I'd definitely go with 'now know' for that natural flow.

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  • Unfortunately, I've already submitted the essay... But I'll keep your advice in mind in my future writing, thanks. – user3932000 Jan 3 '17 at 23:31
  • Oh wonderful, glad I could help :) – Littletee Jan 3 '17 at 23:34

Particular usage

Your particular usage of 'now', in this case, is the adverb form. It's purpose is to draw attention to a particular point.

Without having read the rest of your essay, I am able to divine that you were likely making acknowledgements, of academic disciplines, other than the pure sciences, though they are your preference.

Now, in order for 'now' to achieve it's proper effectiveness as the conspicuous element pointing to know, it needs to proceed it as a forerunner.

'As much as I love the pure sciences, I know now a well-rounded education is valuable.'

As much as I love the pure sciences, I now know a well-rounded education is valuable.

There is a difference, though a subtle one, the other alternative is, as others suggest here, to use 'that' as a determiner, but that feels clunky without the proper positioning of the adverb.

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