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What is the difference between mengerti, memahami and mengetahui in Bahasa Indonesia?

August 12, 2019



Interesting question. So far, I have only come across mengerti. According to Google translate, this and memahami both mean 'understand,' while mengetahui means 'knowing.' I do know the difference between understand and knowing; it will be interesting to learn the difference between the other two words. Sorry I cannot help you, but I hope someone can, so we both can learn.


I asked this question also in other channels (Quora) and as I was explained and understand (mengerti) now is:

  • mengerti is a shallow understanding .. I just learned what all these words mean
  • menahami , root verb "paham" is a deep understanding , like learning bahasa indonesia until it is obvious what paham and mengerti means
  • mengetahu, root verb "tahu" is just knowing ..you understand it completely

I "mengerti" by learning a lot I will "paham" all these words and just "tahu" what they all mean.

Something like that I think.


Yes, that's more or less the difference.

mengetahui ==> to know.
mengerti ==> to understand.
memahami ==> to understand really well.


tahu : to know mengerti : to understand memahami: to comprehend


Thank you! I haven't got that far yet, but I will remember it when I get there. I hope.


Yes...you will remember ("ingat"), no worries ("jangan kuatir").

Where are you from Ineke ?
Ineke sounds like a Dutch name.


You are right, I am Dutch.

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