Is there any difference between these two sentences?

  1. She entered his room without him knowing.

  2. She entered his room without making him know.

Please explain the meaning of these two sentences.

1 Answer 1


The first sentence is correct and means that he was not aware that she had entered the room. (You will also see such sentences written as: ....without his knowing..., which has the same meaning.)

The second sentence is awkward. I think it is trying to say that she entered the room without letting him know. That is to say, without informing him. This means something quite different.

It is also ambiguous. The question is: know about what? It might mean that she did not let him know that she had entered the room. Alternatively, it might mean refer to something else that she kept to herself, rather than informing him. You would need to know the context in order to be sure of the meaning.

  • Is there any difference between 'without him knowing' and 'without his knowing' ? I think in first one 'knowing' is used as participle and in second one 'knowing' is used as gerund. So in the second one we can use 'knowledge' rather than 'knowing'. Am I correct? Aug 21, 2022 at 15:46
  • I refer you to BillJ's recent answer on this subject: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/261701/a-gerund-or-a-participle Aug 21, 2022 at 22:15

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