认识 / 知道

dojibear

Senior Member
English - Northeast US
As a beginner, I know to use 知道 for "to know (understand) an idea", and 认识 for "to know (recognize) a person".

If I want to say "I know (recognize) this character (hanzi)", should I use 认识 for that, or 知道 ? Is 认识 used just for people?
 
  • fyl

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    I'd use 认识 for characters.
    If one says he 知道 a character, I'm not sure if he really knows the character (it sounds like he has only heard of that character. He knows the existence of the character but does not know what it exactly is).
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    I agree with fyl. In my mind, "我知道這個字" means "I know of this character." (i.e., It rings a bell. I've seen or heard it before. I am aware of its existence.), whereas 我認識這個字 means "I know this character" (i.e., I am familiar with this character. Not only am I able to recognize it, but I also know its meaning and pronunciation).
     
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