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  5. Ich kenne es nicht vs. Ich we…


Ich kenne es nicht vs. Ich weiss es nicht

Hi guys can someone tell me what is the different between the 2? I hardly ever see the "Ich kenne es nicht" anywhere, but I don't think this form is wrong, is it?

May 23, 2017



Both are correct; it depends on the context when to use which.

Think of kennen as "to know in the biblical sense" - you have been inside of it, you have tasted it. E.g. a city, a type of food, a person. So, you've had personal contact with it/them, you got to know it/them.

wissen refers to dry information, e.g. what time the bus leaves, what kind of tree it is, whether your mother has bought you candy or not, etc.


Ich weiss nicht means to not know a fact, information, or is used with a question word.

Ich kenne nicht means to not know a location or person.


Gosh! Tough question! I am Afrikaans speaking, and we use 'ken' (kennen) and 'weet' (wissen) as in German (and Dutch). I know (wissen) when to use which word because I know (kennen) Afrikaans, but I do not know (wissen) how to explain it! The link ViticallaV shared is helpful.

Here's a teaser: Do you know (wissen) what 7x8 is? Yes, because I know (kennen) my tables!

I know (wissen) where it is; I know (kennen) this town.

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