Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(a/the) knack (of/for/to)

a knack ofa knack forthe knack ofthe knack fora knack tothe knack to
1) a skill or ability to do something
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • have the knack of doing something
  • Analysis
    This expression refers to somebody's talent or ability to do something quickly and well, especially something that others find difficult. For that reason, it often relates to a special or particularly clever way of doing something that requires resourcefulness as well as skill. The term is used frequently in a social and professional context, but not always in a positive sense, and shares a similar meaning to 'know-how.' Someone who 'has a knack' for something has a particular talent or skill or effective way of doing something. If you say 'there is a knack to it' it means there is a particular way of doing something. If you have an old door in your home for example that is difficult to open - maybe you have to push the key in as well as turning the door handle in a particular way, you could say 'there is a knack to opening that door'. This is a casual expression used in both social and professional contexts.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. My child has the knack of picking the most inconvenient time to cause a fuss when we're out somewhere. It is so embarrassing! 
    2. I know there's a knack to getting this TV to work properly, but I can't remember what it is!
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. Keeping Jack on as a salesman is pointless. He just doesn't have the knack for it.
    2. I don't know what it is, but Jane just seems to have the knack of getting complicated deals over the line.
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