Keep me in the loop. (Words and phrases related to knowledge)

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by Kate Woodford

This week, we’re looking at words and phrases that we use to describe knowing a subject.

Starting with a very useful adjective, someone who is knowledgeable knows a lot, either about one particular subject or subjects more generally: Annie is very knowledgeable about wildlife. A slightly informal expression to describe someone with a detailed knowledge of one particular subject is the phrase clued up: Young people tend to be more clued up on environmental issues.

If you have knowledge of a subject, you might also say you are familiar with it: I’m afraid I’m not familiar with his poetry. A slightly formal expression which means the same is to be acquainted with something: Are you acquainted with the system? If you are au fait (pronounced ‘ˌəʊ ˈfeɪ’) with something, you know about it or you know the most recent information about it: I’m afraid I’m not au fait with the rules of the game.  Meanwhile, if you fill someone in, you give them information that they don’t know about a subject: Those are the bare facts – I’ll fill you in on the details later.

And what about knowing all there is to know about a subject? (Tom’s lived in this village for over fifty years so he knows all there is to know about it.) Someone with a very detailed knowledge of one thing may be said to know it inside out: He’s been teaching this novel for years so he knows it inside out. A very similar expression is to know something back to front or to (UK) know something backwards. (In US English, you can also say that you know something backward and forward): I’ve given this talk so many times – I know it back to front. Someone with a great deal of knowledge of a place, meanwhile, may be said to know it like the back of their handI’ve lived and worked in the same place for most of my life so I know it like the back of my hand.

Other expressions relate specifically to recent facts. For example, if you are up to speed with a subject or activity, you have all the latest information about it: Could you bring me up to speed with the latest developments? Meanwhile, if you update someone on a situation or give them an update, you give them the most recent information about it: We’ll update you on this news story throughout the day.

If you are (informal) in the loop, you are part of a group that has information about something. (If you are out of the loop, you are not in that group.) Could you keep me in the loop, Sam?

Finally, if you are privy to a conversation, you are told information that not many people are told: Evidently, those conversations were taking place but I was never privy to them.


71 thoughts on “Keep me in the loop. (Words and phrases related to knowledge)

  1. Jagadesh.KBS

    Thanks 4 keeping me in loop about “Words & Phrases” in English, It’s always good to b able to up to speed and that too with d help of people who’re knowledgeable and reliable.

  2. Pingback: Keep me in the loop. (Words and phrases related to knowledge) | gutzko

    1. Kate Woodford

      Hi Mahmoud! Many thanks for your kind words. We publish this type of blog post every two or three months. Best wishes.

  3. Sebastian

    Hey Kate,

    Thank you very much for this post, it’s really educative and helpful for learners.

    A question if you don’t mind. I am an English learner too and I have some questions in mind that I can ask to the native speakers. Questions relating to grammar, word choice etc. Maybe you will recommend some grammar forums that can be found via google but the problem is I seek answers from native speakers and most of them are not. So, is there any possbility that you can help me with some questions if I send them to your email or would you be able to recommend good forums where I can ask to native speakers? I mean I don’t have millions of questions, just 2-3 questions at most per month to get some things clear.

    Thanks very much for the help

  4. Limam

    In fact and at first, I reluctantly hesitate reflecting upon “keep me in the loop” but later things were pushed beneath the bottom and I realised how much I am overwhelmed with that splendid idea of keeping in touch though receiving unexpected expressions. However, I should call you upon “how to say it in English” window if possible.

  5. Рома Наугольная

    Dear Kate, I’m a bit confused about “a detailed knowledge” at the end of the secon paragraph. As far as I know, “knowledge” is an uncountable noun so is it correct to use the article “a” here?

    1. Kate Woodford

      Hello! Yes, you’re right, but knowledge is also a singular noun, used with an adjective before it, e.g. She has a good/detailed/working, etc knowledge of a subject. I hope that helps! Best wishes to you.

  6. Sonali Dhatunde

    Very nice….. it’s very good source to learn new words & to increase our knowledge…..It’s Very useful…..

  7. Jasmine

    Absolutely loved it! On the other hand, may I request a post on words and phrases to describe being unknowledgeable? Thank you very much!

    1. Kate Woodford

      Hi Jasmine! Thanks for this! I’ll have a look at this area of the language and see if there’s a blog post in it! Best wishes.

  8. Shruthi

    I am so glad tat I have been updated with the latest facts and being able to be in the loop with English vocabulary.

  9. Rabindra

    I love to know new word so if you acknowledge me about new word. It helps me a lot. Thanks for such a great contribution to enhance people knowledge about English.

  10. alex

    Thank you for a fantastic post. It’s so helpful to have all words/phrases about one particular subject in one post and from a reliable source. I eagerly look forward to seeing more and more of your posts- what a great way to learn!

    1. Kate Woodford

      Hi Alex, thank you! We publish this type of post every two or three months so do keep checking in with us. Best wishes!

  11. Thanks Dear Kate for teaching us!, you can tell someone that they can keep me in good loop to mean to keeping give you good information?, and I also don’t know that this meanwhile means here I often seeing it on your posts. Please explain it what it means?. Jean Baptiste from Rwanda Kigali city, kind regards 😁

    1. Kate Woodford

      Hi, Jean Baptiste! Thanks for your nice message. No, the phrase you suggest wouldn’t be used, though I can see why you suggest it. That use of ‘meanwhile’ is for pointing out the difference between two things, in this case phrases. I hope that helps. Best wishes to you!

  12. Aishwarya Rajawat

    It’s 11:09here in India and I can’t stop myself reading more and more.
    I’m enjoying it a lot.
    It’s very interesting.
    Can I have a daily update of your blogs on my email ID.
    I’ll be glad if this can happen.
    Thank you.

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