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When to use: Znać/Wiedzieć & lub/albo


rejd 5 | 17
18 Feb 2009 #1
Znać and wiedzieć both mean "to know". When should I use which? Or does it matter?

How about lub/albo? Both mean but/or/else, correct? Is there a certain time one is more correct than the other?
osiol 55 | 3,922
18 Feb 2009 #2
Znać

To be acquainted with. (Apparently it compares with French: connaitre, German kennen and dialect English ken)

Znam Dave - I know Dave.
Znam to dziecko - I know this children.
Znam to słowo - I know this word.

wiedzieć

Wiem, że... - I know that...
Wiedzą, kto... - They know who...
Wiesz, jakie... - You know what kind of...
Wiem wszystko - I know everything
Nic nie wiem - I don't know anything

Careful with umieć, meaning to know how to.
Umiem pływać - I know how to swim

Albo and lub, I think are completely interchangable. Just use the one that you feel like using at the time. Albo might be more popular in everyday speech, but who am I to know?
Davey 13 | 388
18 Feb 2009 #3
Znać is to know a person/place/thing
Wiedzieć is to know a fact about something/someone/somewhere
scrivomcdivo 3 | 10
2 Mar 2009 #4
I believe it is very similar to the rules for "savoir" and "connaitre" in French and also "saber" and "conocer" in Spanish if this assists :) . As Davey has said, one refers to actually knowing a person / place / thing and the other refers to knowing a fact about that said person / place / thing
mafketis 21 | 7,363
2 Mar 2009 #5
Basically the difference is less semantic and more grammatical than similar pairs in other languages.

znać takes a nominal object (noun or pronoun)

znam to miasto (I know that city)
znam odpowiedzieć (I know the answer)
Znam go (I know him)

wiedzieć takes a sentential object (introduced by że)

wiem, że nie masz czasu (I know you don't have time)
wiem, że mieli przyjść (I know they were supposed to come)

or no object but a prepositional phrase

wiem o tym (I know (about it))

also wiedzieć can be followed by an infinitive clause with an embedded question marker (kto, co, jak, gdzie etc)

wiem co robić (I know what to do)
wiem jak to robić (I know how to do that)

but it can't be followed by a bare infinitive or infinitive clause, then it's replaced by umieć

*wiem robić (*used by linguists to mark incorrect usage)

umiem to robić (I know (how) to do that)
umiem pływać (I know how to swim)

compare:

nie znam odpowiedzi (I don't know the answer)

nie wiem co odpowiedzieć (I don't know what/how to answer)

nie umiem odpowiedzieć (I don't know how to answer)
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
16 Mar 2009 #6
Thanks for the good explanation.
rulatir
22 Oct 2009 #7
znam odpowiedzieć

Incorrect. Possible corrections:

- "umiem/potrafię odpowiedzieć" - "I can answer" (in the sense of "I know how to answer" rather than either "I am allowed to answer" or "My lips are not glued together with superglue").

- "znam odpowiedź" - "I know the answer": "znam" is first person singular of "znać" (the "connaître" know-word), and "odpowiedź" is a noun that means "answer"

- "wiem jak odpowiedzieć" - very literally "I know how to answer": "wiem" is first person singular of "wiedzieć" (the "savoir" know-word), "jak" is "how", and "odpowiedzieć" is an infinitive.

I am a native speaker.

Regarding "lub" vs. "albo", for the "either..., or..." construct you can only use "albo..., albo...".
mafketis 21 | 7,363
22 Oct 2009 #8
mafketis:
znam odpowiedzieć

Incorrect.

Yes, thanks for the correction. That was basically a typo, I fully intended 'znam odpowiedź' and am a little mortified that I didn't notice that sooner.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
29 Oct 2009 #9
What about: Kto ją tam wie?! (Who knows what makes her tick?!)
mafketis 21 | 7,363
30 Oct 2009 #10
Looks like a frozen construction (maybe from a time before the current usage stabilized).

That doesn't change the basic distinction. Some quick googling seems to indicate that if you drop the 'ją tam' or 'go tam' the basic meaning is unchanged although the pragmatic meaning probably does.

Ale kto ją tam wie, co naprawdę chciała? vs Ale kto wie, co naprawdę chciała?

w tym rzecz że kto ją tam wie czy i ona na tym w jakiś sposób nie zarabia. vs

w tym rzecz że kto wie czy i ona na tym w jakiś sposób nie zarabia.

kto go tam wie o co mu chodzi vs kto wie o co mu chodzi

In other words, the 'ją tam', 'go tam' and 'ich tam' would seem to have some kind of discourse/pragmatic function rather than give any real clue on how 'wiedzieć' is used.
axid - | 18
30 Oct 2009 #11
yes,
'ją tam' is more like a stress rather than a particular meaning.
by extending the utterance, you simply stress that it is unknown
and even hard to guess. if you drop the part, nothing changes in meaning.
musicwriter 5 | 87
18 Jan 2010 #12
I'm reasonably certain that 'znać' means to know a person you have met. 'Wiedzieć' means to know a certain fact.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
22 Jan 2010 #13
Yes. But it does not have to be a person.

Znam tego miasta! - I know this city!

And don't forget that the direct object associated with znać should be genitive.
strzyga 2 | 993
22 Jan 2010 #14
Yes. But it does not have to be a person.

you're right about this

Znam tego miasta! - I know this city!And don't forget that the direct object associated with znać should be genitive.

and, unfortunately, wrong about this. It's accusative: znam to miasto.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
22 Jan 2010 #15
and, unfortunately, wrong about this. It's accusative: znam to miasto.

Yes, I'm sorry. Embarrassing!

I heard the sentence nie znam tego miasta in my head.

Positive sentence with znać = accusative
Negative sentence with znać = genitive

Thanks for the correction.
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
24 Jan 2010 #16
Basically the difference is less semantic and more grammatical than similar pairs in other languages.

Ok to sum up I would propose a general rule:

Znać : can be followed by any noun( Proper noun or Common noun) or nominal sentence ( no verb )
Wiedzieć can be followed by any verb or verbal sentence ( no noun/substantive)

Any exeption to this rule?
cinek 2 | 337
24 Jan 2010 #17
Znać : can be followed by any noun( Proper noun or Common noun) or nominal sentence ( no verb )
Wiedzieć can be followed by any verb or verbal sentence ( no noun/substantive)

Any exeption to this rule?

Not in todays coloquial speech, but you can find some in poetry or old songs:

Tra la la Antek na harmonii gra.
Tra la la on przebierać klawo zna.
Tra la la baw się bracie póki czas,
Skoroś dzisiaj na zabawę,
Do nas tutaj wlazł.

here: zna = potrafi

btw.

What about "znać się na czymś" ?

Cinek
Ms Polish
13 Apr 2010 #18
Re: lub/albo

"lub" is literally "or" and is non-exclusive, something like English and/or.
"albo" is exclusive, mostly corresponds to English "either..or"
kołodziejski
9 Jul 2010 #19
Accusative - Znam to miasto.(NOT znam tego miasta)
Gentive - Nie znam tego miasta.
chaza 50 | 253
9 Jul 2010 #20
how does dowiadywać fit into this post, that was in issue i am having.

chaza
cinek 2 | 337
9 Jul 2010 #21
how does dowiadywać fit into this post

'Dowiadywać' means 'to learn' in context like:

I learned he's comming today.
Dowiedziałem się że on przyjeżdża dzisiaj.

It means to learn some particular information about something or how to do something etc.
In more general contexts (gathering knowledge) we use 'uczyć się'.

Eg:

Ucząc się języka polskiego dowiedziałem się co to są przypadki rzeczownika.
When I was learning Polish I learned what cases of noun is.

Cinek
PolishWoman - | 8
9 Jul 2010 #22
Hello,

Surely Polish ''lub'' and ''albo'' are interchangeable, but ''albo'' is a kind of more 'excluding' one of the two options. When you use ''lub'' you are more hesitant, or less determined about your choice, and some kind of willing to choose both options, for example: Napiję się kawy lub herbaty. - I'll have coffee or tea. (It is very likely that I'll sip both some coffee and tea.) A sentence: Napiję się kawy albo herbaty. (No difference in translation into English) - It means that I will choose only one of them, and you might say, with stronger determination. It is a slight semantic difference.

Wiedzieć vs. znać

znać - to know (sb/sth)

wiedzieć o ... - to know ABOUT something/somebody

wiedzieć, że ... - to know THAT ...

wiedzieć czy ... - to know WHETHER/IF ...

wiedzieć dlaczego - to know WHY ...

wiedzieć jak - to know HOW...
eg. Wiem jak to zrobić - I know how to do it

And some other like: widzieć gdzie/kto/kiedy itd. = to know where/who/when etc.

Znać - there is an object, a noun phrase following the verb; no preposition after the verb 'znać' is possible

Wiedzieć - a preposition or a subordinator has to follow the verb; an object cannot stand immediately after the verb itself

Znać się

znać się na ...
1. to be familiar/experienced with, to know (one's stuff)
2. to know how (to do)
eg. Znać się na gotowaniu - to know how to cook, znać się na żartach - to know how to tell jokes

znać się - to be acquainted with; to know oneself
e.g. Znamy się od dwóch lat = We've know each other for two years.

Dowiadywać się - to learn; to get to know; to find out

Hope I could be of some help to you. Wish you goodluck ;)
Rulatir
19 Nov 2010 #23
Just for the sake of completeness, the perfective counterpart of "dowiadywać się" is "dowiedzieć się".


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