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Example:

  • We know of no civilian casualties (from the Hill)
  • We don't know any civilian casualties
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  • to know of something is formal, written English.
    – Lambie
    Aug 28, 2021 at 21:01

2 Answers 2

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In your example:

We know of no civilian casualties.

"know of" here means "knowledge" or "awareness". The reporter wasn't aware of any casualties.

We don't know any civilian casualties.

In this pattern, "know" means "acquaintance", but as written in your second example that wouldn't be implied (unless you personally were acquainted with them). If you were, it would be better to write it as:

We don't know any of the civilian casualties.

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To add information to and perhaps clarify user3196's answer:

These two sentences mean the same thing:

We know of no civilian casualties

We don't know of any civilian casualties.

The two sentences above mean that there may or may not be civilian casualties, but we haven't learned about them yet if there are. The first sentence sounds a bit more like we don't expect to learn of any civilian casualties because we think there aren't any.

However this sentence means something different:

We don't know any of the civilian casualties

It means that there definitely are civilian casualties, but all of those casualties are people we don't know (i.e. we haven't met them; they are strangers).

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