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  5. "Er kennt das Bier."

"Er kennt das Bier."

Translation:He knows the beer.

October 18, 2015

119 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raisinnoir

Since "kennen" means "to be familiar with", I would say "he knows the brand of beer" is what it means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jay6942069

Thanks for clarifying. I figured it had something to do with translation/context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ashtonmonkeys04

yes, kennen is if you are familiar with something, wissen is when you are expressing a fact


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brigid

So it seems that the meanings of kennen and wissen are roughly analogous to those of conocer and saber in Spanish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/norkolas

Same as connaître and savoir in French.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oldschoolcool

Same as to know and to know in English!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Konn_Kupferzinn

Same as conoscere e sapere in Italian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WrzodX

Same as "znać" and "wiedzieć" in Polish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/apalsnerg

Same as "känna" and "veta" in Swedish!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leo815303

Same with conhecer and saber in Portuguese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dagger17

Same as „znát” a „vědět“ in Czech.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YongWang410754

same as 知道 and 认识 in chinese


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaiusSolitaire

It's actually the other way round but sure


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BZH_JJM

Except in French you would never say "je sais cette biere." It's always "je connais cette biere."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Why do you use "except"?

It is the same in German: you would say Ich kenne das Bier and not Ich weiß das Bier.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alessia32612

Same for Italian! It's conoscere and sapere


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loneobserver42

Same as 'konas' and 'scias' in Esperanto


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaiusSolitaire

Same as novisse and scire in Latin


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BilingualA4

Same as cunoaştere and ştire in Romanian (although this form of the infinitive fell out of use some time ago)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nelly2E0DT

Thanks for the tip thatll help me remember the difference between them


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MurrayDouglas

isn't "kennen" used when you talk about knowing people with "wissen" used for all other things? i'm confused now because i thought one of the moderators explained this in a way that contradicts what you've said above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

isn't "kennen" used when you talk about knowing people with "wissen" used for all other things?

That's a good rule of thumb, but it's simplified a bit.

You can kennen (be acquainted) with other things than people -- for example, with places or a particular brand of beer. Roughly, if it makes sense to replace "know" with "know of", then kennen will probably work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MurrayDouglas

Based on what you've just explained, if someone asks me about a subject that i've never hear of before, my answer should be,

"Ich kenne das nicht" instead of "Ich weiß nicht"

I can be missing any awareness of what flowers are, "Ich kenne Blumen nicht" or i can be lacking any deep, scientific understanding of flowers, "Ich weiß Blumen nicht"...

am i understanding your explanation correctly?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Based on what you've just explained, if someone asks me about a subject that i've never hear of before, my answer should be,

"Ich kenne das nicht" instead of "Ich weiß nicht"

I suppose so, if you've never heard of it.

"What do you think of kinesiology? -- No idea: I don't know that word."

Was hältst du von Kinesiologie? -- Keine Ahnung; ich kenne das Wort nicht.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

"Ich weiß Blumen nicht" is not a correct sentence in German. "wissen" can only be used for knowing abstract concepts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nemo41

And Hungarian tudni, ismerni


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PterMtys

Ismerni is kennen, tudni is wissen. (Such a trilingual sentence)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatMcCat

Why not, "He knows beer," or "He knows about beer". Why does Duo insist on "the" in English? It sounds to me like someone who is an expert on beer. If not, it would be great to have an explanation from someone who understands this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p

"He knows beer" and "he knows the beer" are both valid sentences in English, but with different meanings. Using "the" makes it more specific. It works similarly in German, and for that reason we should keep the meaning the same when translating, which involves keeping "the".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatMcCat

Thanks. It doesn't always match up one-for-one from one language to another, so I get your point.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexander.Bijan

In what context would this be used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaraHenney

In the same context as "The spider eats the bread".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Donut_Narwhal

or the same context as "that banana sleeps"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John571126

Many sentences are grammatically correct but aren't logical. George Carlin pointed out it was possible to say "Hand me the piano," although no one is likely to honor the speaker's request.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/reeniera

In context "Funny duolingo german course"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkusRamikin

I'm guessing something like "he can recognize the brand of beer", which is at least an imaginable real life sentence. And which I doubt duolingo accepts as a translation, but I haven't tested.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cloaked_Guardian

I don't know. I've never met anyone who is friends with beer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FelipeBenutti

I don't know why you were down voted... I had the same questioning too. Maybe it meant sth in German. People tend to be very ignorant sometimes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/awefulwaffle

Maybe the English verb "to know" isn't as flexible as the German verb. I don't know how often the phrase is used in German, but on one website, I found this phrase "ich kenne das Bier auch nur mit dem Aroma." (roughly: I know the beer even with the aroma)

And this phrase is on a guy's twitter account, accompanying a photo of him holding a beer bottle:


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guzztavofc

"He knows the beer" makes sense in Portuguese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XtraFancy

Yup, the distinction also occurs in the Romance languages: Spanish conocer/saber, Portuguese conhecer/saber, French savoir/connaître, Italian sapere/conoscere


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/splittongue

Romanian ”a ști/a cunoaște”, etc


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaMaria_Kat

People always leave out Romanian when naming Romance languages, although Romanian might be the closest to Latin haha.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helder.rds

I think in english it should be he knows his beer, as in he is a specialist in the 'beer' topic. He knows his stuff, does that make sense? Is that the german version is trying to say?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidBock9

How about, "He recognises the beer, Weißbier, etc.)"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

"He recognises the beer" would be Er erkennt das Bier.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caitlin983648

I think this is a bit of a German culture phrase. For example, a bartender is likely to double check with you as a tourist if you order a Rauchbier (tastes of sausage/bacon) or a Gose (highly sour). At this point you would say 'Er kennt das Bier' and get served a tasty traditional German beer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yxzzy03

Would this also be right he knows that beer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/veleryba13

What's the difference between "kennst" and "kennt"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatMcCat

Person and conjugation of verbs. Ich kenne: I know Du kennst: you know Er/sie/es kennt: He/she/it knows Wir kennen: We know Ihr kennt: You (pl.) know Sie kennen: They know


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Isaiahi7

I see you have used Duolingo a lot and have high levels in 5 different languages. Would you say you are now fluent in those languages? I asked because At times I feel like I'm only learning words but that using Duo will never teach me how to actually speak the language fluently. Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shkia

It doesn't help much if you're not listening to audio or video, try to find series with subtitles or learn some lyrics.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Namitha17

Du kennst Er/sie/es kennt


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pineapplemice

"He knows of the beer" works. I didn't try "He knows the beer" because it sounds like he's friends with the beer. :P


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CGChurch

Could I see the infinitive form of this verb


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdgarKHXZ7

is Kennt accusative? Eg:

Ich kenne den Apfel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes, kennen takes a direct object in the accusative case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heartlandexpat

Does this mean he knows a particular beer well, or simply that he is knowledgeable about beer in general? And how would you say the other meaning if they're not said the same?

Ex: "We're having Duvel, have you had it? Yes, I know the beer." As opposed to "I work at a bar so I know beer."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Does this mean he knows a particular beer well, or simply that he is knowledgeable about beer in general?

Since it talks about das Bier "the beer", it refers to a particular beer that is clear from context, and the verb kennen implies that he is familiar or acquainted with it, not necessarily that he knows a lot about it or is knowledgeable about it.

"I know about beer" would be something like Ich kenne mich mit Bier aus, using the separable verb auskennen -- sich mit etwas auskennen "to know (a lot) about something; to be familiar with something; to know one's way around something". (auskennen can also be used with a place -- Kennen Sie sich hier aus? "Do you know your way around here?", e.g. before asking someone for directions.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sven159882

Could this expression be used to mean "He knows Beer" in general? Would 'Er kennt Bier' imply something different than 'Er kennt das Bier' in German?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

In German you have the same distinction like in English. "Er kennt Bier" ("He knows beer" (in general)) and "Er kennt das Bier" ("He knows the beer" (a specific one)).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenLutz

Would Germans actually say this say in a bar? In english we would say we know or like that style, or that variety, or that brand, but we would never say we know a beer - so what is the translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p

Just a warning - try to avoid "we would never say...". It starts arguments, because someone can always think of a context that you didn't imagine, or someone speaks a dialect of English that you didn't know about!

Take this sentence for its grammar & vocabulary, and learn "when to use things in reality" from somewhere other than Duolingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saadmahm

I learned kennen as to know (a person) and wissen to know (an object)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p

Throw that idea away and learn it as:
kennen = "to be familiar with"
wissen = "to know as a fact"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertPyon

So kennen applies to recognizing something or someone. And, wissen applies to whether you know something as a fact?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p

Kind of. But note that kennen (to be familiar with) and erkennen (to recognise) are different verbs.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chuu207

Does the verb "kennen" work as the word "know" in english?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p

The English word "know" splits into two different words in German: either kennen or wissen. Read the other comments for some explanations about the difference.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beckel2005

how do you "know a beer"? I agree I think that "he knows the brand of the beer" makes more sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jessica33132

That is what it means. "The beer" implies a specific type/brand.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JGjbwsz8

Duolingo doesn't necessarily recognize all colloquial translations into English; no problem really, as long as we learn the vocabulary.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hari51552

He knows the alcohol beer or the animal bear. The first possiblits makes no sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

das Bier = the beer; that beer

der Bär = the bear; that bear

So Er kennt das Bier cannot mean that he knows a bear (animal). It can only be about a beer.

"He knows that beer" makes a lot of sense to me as there are lots of varieties of beer, and it's almost guaranteed that you won't know all of them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nisshoki

It really doesn't make sense to me, do you also use as e.g. "Er kennt das movie"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Well, Movie is not a German word, but Er kennt den Film is fine for "He knows that movie" (i.e. he's familiar with it -- could mean he's just heard of it or that he's watched it).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mansoor713879

He knows that ale. What the.. ale is?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It's an English word which you can look up in an English dictionary if you are not sure of the meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PopSixSquish

If I remember correctly, in England there is a difference between beer and ale. Is it the same in Germany, or, generally speaking, does Bier cover different forms?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

If I remember correctly, in England there is a difference between beer and ale.

As far as I know, "ale" is one kind of beer. Wikipedia and Wiktionary agree.

In German, Bier covers a variety of brewed drinks, even ones made from wheat rather than barley (Weißbier, Weizenbier, Hefeweizen).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arminmirho

How would it be "he knows that beer", what is "that" in german?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Your sentence would also translate to Er kennt das Bier.

English developed a separate definite article by splitting off "that" (from the original neuter form) from "the" (from the original masculine form), but in German, der, die, das are still used for both definite article and for demonstrative determiner.

So der Apfel can mean "the apple" or "that apple", etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heather973342

In American English I would takes this to mean the same as "He knows his beer," meaning he is familiar with a particular beer or all things pertaining to beer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

In American English I would takes this to mean the same as "He knows his beer," meaning he is familiar with a particular beer or all things pertaining to beer.

No -- that would be more Er kennt sich mit Bier aus.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kajoliloli

"He knows of the beer" works. Dunno why "He knows the beer" sounds so weird to me as a native English speaker.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DelaramNik

Es gibt kein the here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PopSixSquish

When I listen to Duolingo, "er" sounds like "air," but when I pronounce it that way I get the word wrong. Should it be pronounced differently?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cadence515941

I suppose "kennt" is to know someone or something as a person or familiar brand of something? And 'Weis' is for knowing facts?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I suppose "kennt" is to know someone or something as a person or familiar brand of something? And 'Weis' is for knowing facts?

Yep, that's pretty much it.

(The dictionary forms are kennen, wissen.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brianneal

i know the beer too. it's good people.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brianneal

I know the beer too! He's a swell chap!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anno35

It is most unlikely that any native English speaker would use such a sentence. Couldn't Duolingo use some other phrase as the phrases gets repeated so often


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robby000

The only way to see one’s level is by leaving a comment?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

you can use duome


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robby000

What is "duome" or how can i get there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StaceyDC

As an English speaker I am having a hard time coming up with times I would use 'the.' And they are all very context driven and would use 'that beer' over 'the beer.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

"that beer" is accepted as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John571126

Shouldn't the English be "He knows beer" or "He knows this beer"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

No. "He knows beer" is "Er kennt Bier", "He knows this beer" is "Er kennt dieses Bier".
It could, however, be "He knows that beer".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ayesha_ja_22

Well.. how can someone know a beer? A bit confusing. Clarify, Bitte! Danke, tschüss.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

One could have tasted this brand before and know its properties.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adamsonclaire7

German combines the and that. We can know that beer, but not the beer. Danke! Hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeoffArnel

Is das both this and that? Would he knows this beer be accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Is das both this and that?

Yes.

Would he knows this beer be accepted?

Yes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adamsonclaire7

You could say he knows the beer he likes, otherwise it would be he knows that beer. English is difficult!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShadeKoster

"Er kennt das Buch (Buecher)" would make more sense as an example.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Winter_Phoenix

Could this be a euphemism? Meaning he likes beer a lot, or is even alcoholic. "He is acquainted with beer" "He is familiar with beer" That sounds possible to me in English. I wonder about German though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

no. And it is "the beer", a special one, not beer in general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bethbat

no. It is this specific brand of beer that he knows.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John571126

Or variety, such as Pilsener, lager, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/enrique93ig

how can we understand between pronunciation of "bier" and "bar" ? please follow and Help me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

I don't understand how you could possibly confuse the two. Same difference as between "fear" and "far" in English.

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