additional information

According to this source the word 'even' can be used as a verb (e.g. she cut the hair again to even up the ends)

question #1:

Can I use the verb 'even' to describe action which represents making the same quantity of knowledge of students (even their knowledge = all of the students have the same information about something)- I wanted to put it as much as possible succinctly

question #2:

Can I use the word 'knowledge' as plural in this context (I can't even their knowledges)?

2 Answers 2



Firstly, you would want to say even up or even out. It's just one of those words that has a specific construction that always goes with it.

Secondly, to even out implies taking an action on a concrete, quantifiable, or measurable thing. You can use it for more abstract things like "even out the workload," but workload is still quantifiable, even though it's not a physical object.

Knowledge in English, is an abstract noun. You can only talk about it in terms of amount—not number. You can have no knowledge or a lot of knowledge, but you can't have multiple knowledges.

It's a little unclear to me what you're actually trying to say. You probably want to use "standard" or "same" and "information." For example: "provide the students with standardized information" or "ensure the students have learned the same information."

  • the last one (ensure the students have learned the same information) OR as I wrote (all of the students have the same (amount) information about something). Thank you for your answer
    – Max
    Mar 25, 2017 at 22:38
  • If you're talking about an outcome, I would stick the word "now" into your version, to make it clear that the situation has changed. "All of the students now have the same (amount of) information on the topic." Mar 25, 2017 at 22:48
  • I would agree that you can’t use even as a verb here, but you could get away with using it as an adjective: There’s no way I can make sure all students have even knowledge. It’s still a little clunky, though.
    – J.R.
    Mar 25, 2017 at 23:17
  • You can certainly pluralize knowledge if you are talking about discrete domains of learning. It might stick in the ear, but it will still be grammatical.
    – Robusto
    Mar 26, 2017 at 3:06

I think what you may be trying to say is that all students should have:

A requisite amount of knowledge

Requisite means "necessary or essential"; in other words your job is to provide them the basic knowledge about a specific topic.

If you are describing a course, the term prerequisite is usually used, to describe what subject the basic knowledge is for:

This course is a prerequisite for advanced computer science.

There are many ways of conveying your intent, for example here is a phrase that describes the function of teaching:

My role is to teach students the basic requirements for high school algebra.

Although again, it would be usually be said as:

I am teaching the prerequisites for high school algebra.

These phrases all assume you are talking about basic knowledge that everyone should have.

If your intent is to say that all students should have the same amount of knowledge - that is that everyone should understand some basic concepts equally; then this can be conveyed thus:

At the end of this course, all students should understand the basics of engine repair.

As mentioned in the other answer, you cannot really quantify knowledge (as its an abstract concept). So there is no such thing as 2 knowledges; you have to define the amount of it also in abstract.

  • Thanks. I suggest that you have a mistake may be due to T9 feature (As mentioned in the other answer, you cannot _EVEN_ quantify knowledge) . Am I right?
    – Max
    Apr 9, 2017 at 5:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .