The words ‘knit’ and ‘nit’ sound the same despite their different spellings. And since they also mean different things, you won’t want to mix them up in your writing. Find out how to use them correctly with our helpful guide.
Knit (Make Clothes from Wool)
‘Knit’ is typically a verb that refers to making something, usually clothing, by interlacing wool or yarn in rows. This is done with needles or a ‘knitting’ machine:
My gran says she will knit me a new jumper.
More generally, it can mean ‘join together’ in other contexts:
We need the bones to knit together before you can walk.
You might also come across the phrases ‘close-knit’ or ‘tight-knit’. These imply close bonds between members of a group (e.g. ‘We live in a tight-knit community’).
In all cases, though, the ‘k’ in ‘knit’ is silent, so it is always pronounced ‘nit’.
Nit (A Louse Egg)
‘Nit’ is a noun used to refer to the egg or larvae of a parasitic louse. Most often, people use it to describe the eggs or young of human head lice:
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The whole class has nits.
He spotted a nit in his daughter’s hair.
This word is spelled just how it sounds (no need to worry about a silent ‘k’).
Summary: Knit or Nit?
Although these words sound the same, they mean different things:
Knit is a verb that usually means ‘make something out of wool’.
Nit is a noun that refers to the egg or larvae of a parasitic louse.
If you struggle to tell these words apart, remember that a ‘nit’ is very small. As such, you should always use the smaller of these words for the louse egg.
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