wieć/znać what's the difference?

Tell me, please.

December 10, 2018


First, it's wiedzieć/znać :) I think the meaning of wiedzieć is narrower and simpler to understand, while the usage of znać tends to be more idiomatic:

wiedzieć = to have knowledge or information about something and be conscious of it

  • Wiem jak to zrobić = I know how to do it.


1) To have a certain amount of knowledge about something or someone, to have to do with someone or something in the past

  • Zrozumiałabyś, gdybyś znała moją żonę. = You would understand if you knew my wife.

  • Kochanie wiesz, że znam prawdę. = Baby, you know I know the truth. (This sentence is interesting as wiedzieć and znać are both used and you cannot replace one with the other)

2) To have an acquaintance with someone

  • Znam ją od wielu lat. = I know her since forever.

  • Poznaliśmy się wczoraj. = We've met yesterday. (poznać is a perfective form of znać)

  • Nie mam pojęcia skąd się znali. = I have no idea how they met.

3) To be able to do something

  • Ona zna angielski. = She can speak English.

  • Nie znam się na tym. = I'm no expert on it.

4) To know that something exists

5) To be notified (dawać znać)

The meaning of wiedzieć and the first meaning of znać are almost the same, except wiedzieć cannot be used about people int the same way as znać. You can say about things: znać coś, and it will mean the same thing as wiedzieć coś (although wiedzieć would be preferred in this context) but, if you're talking about people, znać kogoś is OK but wiedzieć kogoś is incorrect.

A little dictionary:

wiedzieć coś = to know something

  • Zadzwonię, jak będę coś wiedział. = I'll call you when I know something.

  • Nie wiem, kto to był. = I don't know who it was.

wiedzieć o czymś = to know about something

  • Skąd o tym wiesz? = How do you know about it?

  • Nie wiedziałem o tym. = I didn't know about it.

znać kogoś = to know someone

  • Nie znam go. = I don't know him.

  • Jak dobrze znał pan zabójcę? = How well did you know the killer?

znać się (z kimś) = to be acquainted with someone

  • Znał się z Marysią od zawsze. = He knew Mary since forever.

  • Nie znaliśmy się wcześniej = We didn't know each other before this.

znać się / znać siebie = to know oneself

  • Znam ją lepiej niż ona zna siebie. = I know her better than she knows herself.

znać się na czymś = to have a lot of knowledge and/or skills in some area, to be an expert in

  • Znasz się na dzieciach lepiej niż ja. = You know kids better than me.

  • Widzisz, jednak znasz się na sporcie. = See, you do know your sports.

znany (adjective) = the one that is well known, familiar; the one that is known to many people: famous, noted, notorious

znany na całym świecie = world-famous

powszechnie znane nazwisko = household name

być znanym z = to be famous for

ogólnie znany = widely known

znany jako = known as

Daj znać (colloquial) = let me know, tell me

  • Jak wrócisz, daj znać co powiedział. = When you get back, let me know what he said.
December 10, 2018

Wiedzieć (is correct form) - to know something or someone because "wiedza" means "knowledge". Znać - to be familiar with something or someone. A word "znajomy" means "friend".

"Znać" will be more often used in context of relations than "wiedzieć", but the difference is subtle or absent in some cases and often you could use both of those words. More important is difference in grammatical structure of the sentence.

"Wiem" can be - and often is it - used with subordinate sentence: "Ja wiem, że ona lubi koty" - I know that she likes cats. But you cannot use "znam" that way.

You can say "Ja go znam" - because he is your friend/enemy/neighbour or you saw him on TV, but you cannot say "Ja go wiem". To use word "wiem" you have to change sentence "Wiem kim on jest" - I am aware who he is.

I hope someone could clarify more. :)

December 10, 2018

Hallo Olaf, du lernst auch deutsch, wie ich sehe. "Wiedzieć" ist genau wie "wissen" und "Znać" wie "Kennen". In Englisch werden diese beiden Verben nur mit einem "know" übersetzt. Wie ist das in deiner Muttersprache? Gibt es "wissen" und "kennen", oder nur "know"? Beste Grüße Gregor

December 10, 2018

"Wiedzieć"="to have knowledge". "Znać"="to be familiar with". Just try to replace "know" with one of these options in a problematic sentence and you will know :) Also "znać" is often followed by an object while "wiedzieć" can only be followed by a subordinate sentence.

December 10, 2018

As I understand it roughly znać is used for knowing people and places and wiedzieć is for knowing about facts and how to do stuff, unless anybody knows better?

December 11, 2018

Wiem for example that i have to died Znam for example good restaurant when i can drink a good milk Wiem that my goat like to eat grass and flowers Znam president of the USA and his ducks Wiem that people around me like to show me his middle finger when i am happy Znam good method to lose big quantity of the money i recommend this you. You will be happy short timeeeeeeeeee but you have only one short live

December 13, 2018

Czesc Rob, Thank you for your comment but I think you need some assistance with your English. It should perhaps read as follows: Wiem for example that I have to die someday Znam for example good restaurant when i can drink a good milk Wiem that my goat likes to eat grass and flowers Znam who is the president of the USA [and his ducks?] Wiem that people around me like to show me their middle finger when I am happy [That is sad] Znam of a good method by which to lose a large amount of the money which I would recommend this you [Thanks a lot!]. You will be happy for only a short time and you have only one short life [What a bundle of fun you are].

December 14, 2018

Dziękuje to all who answered! (I asked before i found out that there's tips and notes in almost every lesson.)

April 13, 2019
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