are the Hebrew words for know מכיר\יודע interchangeable?

The original word I learned for "know" was יודע but now I see Duo using מכיר instead. Are these 2 words interchangeable or is there specific instances where they are used? Such as: I יודע this person. And I מכיר this about you, kind of difference?

November 16, 2018


No, they are not interchangeable

I מכיר this person, I מכיר this movie, (I guess it's like "connaître" in French)

I יודע English, I יודע math, (savoir)

(Edit) I know this about you - אני יודע את זה עליך

You can't say: I יודע this person.


Did you know that... ? I know - אני יודע / ידעתי

Are you familiar with this concept? אני מכיר את הקונספט - I am familiar with the concept

November 16, 2018

Fun fact: In Biblical Hebrew, יָדַע (in the perfect tense, which is now the past tense in Modern Hebrew) is used to mean "knowing" someone in a highly intimate context. E.g. see Genesis 4:1.

November 18, 2018

Many Romance languages have this distinction. Spanish has saber (to know someTHING, like math or football scores) versus conocer (to know someONE).

November 18, 2018

They are not interchangeable. יודע refers to knowledge of information (I know where the office is - אני יודע איפה המשרד / I know how to solve this problem - אני יודע איך לפתור את הבעיה הזו / I know English - אני יודע אנגלית etc...) while מכיר is to know in the sense of being familiar with or recognizing (I know him from work - אני מכיר אותו מהעבודה / I know that place, I've been there before - אני מכיר את המקום הזה, כבר הייתי שם etc...). You had a good hunch about the difference in your example, only in reverse: I מכיר this person, while I יודע this about you...

November 16, 2018

Well put !

November 19, 2018
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