knowledge or knowledges?


What is the difference between “knowledge” and “knowledges”?
And can You give a few samples of the usage of each of them?
Thank You.


Knowledge is uncountable.


Thank You for your answer, but there are cases where “knowledges” is used.
In relation to the countable / uncountable distinction, it may be of stylistic relevance, in your analysis of a passage, to ask the question whether it is possible for the writer, character, or speaker to use an uncountable noun instead of a countable one, or vice versa. We may also note here that there are some uncountable nouns which are treated as countable in recent English. Words such as ‘knowledges’ and ‘imageries’ have appeared in the plural form (and are therefore regarded as countable, although they are traditionally treated as uncountable in English): you may ask yourselves if any stylistic significance is achieved by doing this.


Knowledge is uncountable.


Hi Nata

I agree with MM that the word ‘knowledge’ is uncountable.

Nevertheless, I did a search of the NY Times for the word ‘knowledges’. There were a few results, but of those, some were actually misspellings or hyphenations of the word ‘acknowledges’, some seemed to be simple typos, and some appeared to be in texts written by non-native speakers of English. That left just a handful of ‘knowledges’ and it seemed that what the authors generally meant was ‘types of knowledge’.

If I were you, I would not use the word ‘knowledge’ as a plural. Stick with the traditional, uncountable usage.


Hello Yankee,

i`m not shure if i understand, how can i use the word “knowledge” as a plural ? A lot of languages have plural for this word, i think this is the miss understanding or the translation is wrong. In my language ( romanian ) the meaning of knowledge means “all informations about”, if we have only one information this means we have “a knowledge about” ( only one ), if we have more informations, we have “knowledges about”… :slight_smile:

Thank you,


Hi Nireve,

The following words don’t exist in English:
‘i’, ‘onli’, ‘informations’, ‘knowledges’. So please stop using them. Instead, you should start using a spell checker.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Farmland[YSaerTTEW443543]



if i say “i have information about you”, how you will know if a have one or more than one ?


You can say ‘a piece of information’ or ‘a piece of advice’.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Fishing at the ocean shore[YSaerTTEW443543]


In English, “information” is uncountable. It is therefore impossible to refer to “one information” or “more than one information”. If you do want to express what you think of as “one information”, then, As Torsten says, you have to say “one piece of information”, “one item of information”, or something like that.


Torsten, Dozy, thank you for explanations.


You’re welcome.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Jogging[YSaerTTEW443543]


Knowledges is an expression that has been used especially in the context of multicultural issues. Using the plural is actually a statement against a conception of knowledge as static, monochromatic. If you search the web for expressions like “indigenous knowledges”, “situated knowledges” and “subjugated knowledges” you’ll find lots of occurrences.

I don’t speak/read French (so I don’t know if the plural for knowledge exists in this language"), but my guess is that translations of Foucault’s work might have been among the first occurrences of it in English.


As Yankee says in the message earlier in this thread, these refer to ‘types of knowledge’.


“Knowledges” comes essentially from bad translation of French: specifically Foucault. In Latin languages it is perfectly normal to use the plural. I know Portuguese best and the word “conhecimentos” is perfectly common.
Foucault, however, uses it to define a relative position of knowledge, i.e., knowledge is never absolute - there are different perspectives, ways of seeing which may all contain elements of truth. The idea is clearer if we think of Foucault’s idea that statements about reality are discourses, which means that even statesments which should be patently obvious such as “little Jimmy has a temperature” become questionable because they come from specific social/historical circumstances.
In English “knowledges” is pretentious. It implies that the user of such terms has more knowledge than we mortals who thought the word did not exist but were wrong. There are a host of other Foucauldian aberrations floating about - “power/knowledge” as a new word is the most obvious.
I think maybe people are intimidated by the rubbish Foucault wrote, but it is not all his fault. Bad translation does not help - Sheridan translates “espèces” as “spaces” in “Birth of the Clinic” (p.20). All very confusing but good for the pseudes.