Distinguishing Between Kennen & Wissen

Kennen vs Wissen

When learning German grammar, students often encounter two verbs that seem to express the same action of knowing or “to know” in English: Kennen and Wissen. It can be confusing to choose the right verb between these two options. This article aims to clarify the difference between them.

Key Takeaways

  • Wissen is used to indicate knowledge about facts and objects.
  • Kennen is used to express familiarity with a person or a place.
  • Wissen is followed by a subordinate clause, while Kennen can be answered with just a noun or pronoun.

Wissen is a word used to indicate knowledge about facts and objects. It is appropriate to use when you want to let others know that you have knowledge about a place or a thing.

On the other hand, familiarity with a person or a place is expressed with the help of the verb Kennen. If you can answer a question with just a noun or a pronoun, it should be Kennen and not Wissen. Wissen is used when the answer requires a whole sentence and not just a noun, pronoun, or a phrase. It is important to remember that when Wissen is used to indicate one’s knowledge, it is followed by a subordinate clause that usually begins with wo, warum, wann, or wer.

To differentiate between Kennen and Wissen:

  • Use Kennen when talking about familiarity with a person or a place. For example, “do you know my brother” would require the use of Kennen in the proper tense.
  • Use Wissen when expressing your knowledge about a fact. For example, “do you know the name of this station?” is a question that requires the use of Wissen.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles