Knack + FOR/OF/TO (Meaning and Usage)

The word knack means that there is a special talent or a special way to do something.

It is a noun and can be used with the prepositions “For”,” Of” or “To” depending on the context. 

Knack For 

We use “Knack for” with a special talent that people have. We usually use “knack for”+ noun.

He has a knack for languages.

They have a knack for computers.

Knack Of

“Knack of” means a special talent too but often describes a negative situation.  

You have a knack of being in the wrong place and the wrong time. 

She has a knack of getting into trouble.

In this context, the tone can be ironic, joking, or disapproving. The main idea is that the person with the “knack” seems to almost do these bad things without trying. They just seem to happen to them.

Knack To

“Knack to” means that there is a special way to do something. We use knack impersonally.

There is a knack to it.

There is a knack to opening the car door. 

“There is a knack to it” is the most common phrase because it is the perfect sentence for the context.

The context of “knack” is usually when someone is trying to do something(like open a bottle) and failing to do it. The”knack” often involves pressing, pushing, or pulling in some counterintuitive way.

A Knack or The Knack? 

We use “a knack” with “knack for” and “knack of”.

In the case of “a” we are talking about “knack” which is a talent and there are many talents and this is just one talent out of the many talents.

We use ”the” with “knack” when we are talking about the specific way to do something.

He has the knack.