What is the difference between these two phrases: "I know it" and "I know this"? One explanation I found is that "it" means what you perceive and "this" is more abstract. Is it so?

  • In this context, "Is this so?" seems more natural to my (American) ear than "Is it so?". – Jasper Oct 14 '14 at 16:15
  • 2
    I don't think the explanation you found is correct, but I also can't figure out the difference myself. – hunter Oct 14 '14 at 16:33
  • It would've been more helpful with context – learner Oct 16 '14 at 7:48

It is not possible to say with any certainty what the nuanced differences might be. Here are some plausible uses:

She's taking money from the till, I know it! There should be more money here. We've had a busy day.


I know this (or This I know): when you're serious about going to medical school, you don't party every weekend.

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For I know it, this is used more often in the past tense:

I knew it! He seemed strange from the beginning.

It is a confirmation of some suspicion or idea.

In the present tense it is pretty literal.

For I know this:

I can't believe that I could not repair the car. I know (how to do) this.

meaning you know how to repair the car but for some reason you couldn't. In this case it is an expectation of ability.

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