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knock the door, knock on the door and knock at the door

English translation: knock knock...

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:knock the door, knock on the door and knock at the door
English translation:knock knock...
Entered by: xxxmediamatrix
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

22:06 Sep 3, 2010
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
English term or phrase: knock the door, knock on the door and knock at the door
What´s the difference between knock the door, knock on the door or knock at the door?
Which is the best way to say this? Or is it the same?
The wolf came and knocked (- at or on) the door.
patsyarmando
Local time: 13:26
knock knock...
Explanation:
knock on/knock at are often interchangeable. But 'often' does not mean 'always'.

A few examples of selective use of knock at / knock in in (UK) English:

'knock AT the door' refers to the perception of an event (knuckles hitting door) by someone inside the building.
eg: We were startled by a knock at the door thirty minutes after lights-out. (= the noise surprised us)
There was a loud knock at the door and then someone shouted. (= we heard the noise of someone knocking on (sic) the door)


'knock ON the door' refers to the action taken by the person announcing his/her presence at (sic) the door
eg: Joe persuaded Jim to knock on the old old lady's door.

In these examples inversion of 'in' and 'at' would betray non-nativeness.

Use of 'knock the door' in any of these examples - and in Asker's ST - would just betray ignorance.

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Note added at 1 hr (2010-09-03 23:46:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I should have added that 'came' suggests the text describes the event from the standpoint of an observer inside the building, hence 'knock AT' would be the most natural option.
Selected response from:

xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 12:26
Grading comment
The got the difference! Thanks, this is what I needed!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +5knock knock...xxxmediamatrix
4 +4knock at/on the door
Nesrin
5knock on the door
airmailrpl


Discussion entries: 12





  

Answers


12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
knock on the door


Explanation:
" knock on the door " is the only one for your context

airmailrpl
Brazil
Local time: 13:26
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 60
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
knock at/on the door


Explanation:
To confirm what Kim wrote above, both to knock at and to knock on the door are used. If you look here http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/knock you'll find both knock on the door and knock at the door mentioned as examples by different dictionaries, without further explanation.

"to knock a door" wouldn't be used, unless it's "to knock a door down", as far as I know.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 14 mins (2010-09-03 22:20:56 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

...and what Jane wrote as well :-)
Guys, if you're providing the answer to the asker's question, why don't you post it as an answer? Why should someone like me come along and grab the points?:-))

Nesrin
Local time: 17:26
Native speaker of: Arabic
PRO pts in category: 54

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  JaneTranslates: Grab away, Nesrin! I didn't know the answer--the difference between the two viable options--and wasn't in the mood to do the research. You answered--as far as I'm concerned, you get the (non-pro) points! Warm regards...Jane
20 mins
  -> Thanks Jane :-D

agree  Kim Metzger
43 mins

neutral  xxxmediamatrix: Both 'are used', that's true. But each expression has it's 'niche'. The niche in Asker's ST favours 'at'.
2 hrs
  -> Thanks MM - Kudoz doesn't allow for proper discussions! What I meant with my "aware" question below was if you think your explanation reflects the general usage by native speakers, esp since dictionaries don't seem to discuss this at all. Just curious :-)

agree  BrigitteHilgner: Your points are well deserved. :-)
7 hrs
  -> :-))

agree  Shera Lyn Parpia
8 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
knock knock...


Explanation:
knock on/knock at are often interchangeable. But 'often' does not mean 'always'.

A few examples of selective use of knock at / knock in in (UK) English:

'knock AT the door' refers to the perception of an event (knuckles hitting door) by someone inside the building.
eg: We were startled by a knock at the door thirty minutes after lights-out. (= the noise surprised us)
There was a loud knock at the door and then someone shouted. (= we heard the noise of someone knocking on (sic) the door)


'knock ON the door' refers to the action taken by the person announcing his/her presence at (sic) the door
eg: Joe persuaded Jim to knock on the old old lady's door.

In these examples inversion of 'in' and 'at' would betray non-nativeness.

Use of 'knock the door' in any of these examples - and in Asker's ST - would just betray ignorance.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2010-09-03 23:46:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I should have added that 'came' suggests the text describes the event from the standpoint of an observer inside the building, hence 'knock AT' would be the most natural option.

xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 12:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 15
Grading comment
The got the difference! Thanks, this is what I needed!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Nesrin: Interesting! Would you say that this is sth native speakers are generally aware of? Also - was just googling - how would this fit: "Philip knocked at the door of Cronshaw's house and it was opened by an elderly lady.." (Of Human Bondage, S. Maugham)
23 mins
  -> Surely the whole point of being a 'native speaker' is that conscious awareness of these details of useage is unnecessary; we just use what best fits each circumstance.//BTW, SM's first language was French; as a child his English was considered poor.

agree  Travelin Ann: as a native US EN speaker, I concur. Who's there?
52 mins

agree  Woodstock
7 hrs

agree  Jennifer Barnett: Who's there? Ya
8 hrs

agree  B D Finch: Except that to "knock in the door" is another way of saying to knock it down. e.g. with a battering ram.
11 hrs

agree  Veronika McLaren
13 hrs
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Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
Non-PRO (3): Nesrin, Kim Metzger, JaneTranslates


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Changes made by editors
Sep 5, 2010 - Changes made by xxxmediamatrix:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term
Sep 3, 2010 - Changes made by JaneTranslates:
LevelPRO » Non-PRO


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