Although \u2018not\u2019 and \u2018knot\u2019 sound the same, they have very different meanings. As a result, using the wrong word in your writing could leave your reader confused. Check out our tips below to avoid mistakes in your written work.\nNot (A Word Used for Negations)\n\u2018Not\u2019 is an adverb that, when placed in front of another word or groups of words, negates what follows. This means we can use it to deny something:\nI do not know the answer to your question.\nHere, for instance, saying 'I do not know' is the opposite of saying 'I do know'. And we can use 'not' like this in a variety of situations:\nHe has not done his homework.\nThe washing machine is not working.\nYou were told to not pick your nose.\nI will do anything for love, but not that.\nYou are not as tall as I imagined.\nIn each of these examples, \u2018not\u2019 negates the word or words that follow.\n\n\u2018Not\u2019 is also a part of a lot of contractions in English. For example:\nIsn't = Is not\nDoesn't = Does not\nWon't = Will not\nHaven't = Have not\nAs you can see, when 'not' is part of a contraction we replace the \u2018o\u2019 with an apostrophe. However, you should write these terms out in full in formal writing.\nKnot (Join Made by Tying Two Threads Together)\nTypically, the noun \u2018knot\u2019 refers to a join made by tying two threads such as string, rope, or wool together. For instance, we might say:\nThe sailor tied a knot at the end of the rope.\nBut \u2018knot\u2019 has several other meanings, too, including:\n\n \tA tight mass of threads (e.g. The girl\u2019s long hair was full of knots)\n \tA knob formed on a tree trunk (e.g. The knots in the wood are distinctive)\n \tA measurement of speed used by ships, aircraft, and the movement or water or air (e.g. One knot is equal to one nautical mile per hour)\n \tA cluster of people or things (e.g. Tight knots of people gathered outside)\n\nAs a verb, however, \u2018knot\u2019 almost always means \u2018fasten with a knot\u2019:\nHe knotted his tie in front of the mirror.\nWhy are you knotting those pieces of rope together?\nWhether you're using it as a noun or a verb, this word is always spelled with a silent 'k' at the start. It is therefore pronounced as 'not', not 'k-not'.\n\n[caption id="attachment_55888" align="aligncenter" width="622"] A knotted rope.(Photo: moritz320)[\/caption]\nSummary: Not or Knot?\nWhen you are trying to work out which spelling to use, remember:\n\n \tNot is an adverb used to negate something.\n \tKnot can be a noun or a verb. As a noun, it typically refers to a join made by tying two pieces of thread together or a tightly woven mass, but it has a few other meanings as well. As a verb, \u2018knot\u2019 means \u2018fasten with a knot\u2019.\n\nThe fact these words are so different should make it easier to tell them apart. The important thing to remember is that 'not' modifies other words by negating them.\n\nFor more help with your spelling and word choice, moreover, our proofreaders are available 24\/7. Submit a free trial document today to find out more.