When you meet someone you're supposed to use 認識 as in 很高興知道你, but someone said you can also use 知道 when talking about people or places.

For example, "I know that place" or "I know that person."

When discussing whether you know some person or some place (e.g., restaurant), what are the rules governing when you should use 知道 or 認識?

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of 认识 vs 知道 based on etymology
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 19:47
  • @TangHo thanks, cannot read simplified so didn't know it was a dupe. :) so the same rules apply for people or places? i.e., if i have been to a place should use 認識 but if i only have heard of it i should use 知道?
    – Crashalot
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 19:53
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    yes, you can 認識 a person or 認識 a place; you can also 知道 a person or 知道 a place-- both 'a person' and 'a place' can be the object in a sentence
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 19:56
  • 1
    識得 is more common than 認識 for 'know a place'' . Also, there are difference between 認得一個地方 (recognize a place) and 識得一個地方(I know a place).
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 20:08
  • 1
    認識一個地方 means ' to know a place' 識得一個地方 means ' know a place'
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 20:10

2 Answers 2


Normally we use 认识 when we say: I know this person. And we use 知道 when we say: I know this place.

知道 vs 认识:

  1. About "people":

    • 知道: Emphasis unilateral;
    • 认识: Emphasis bilateral.
  2. 知道 can always be used about knowledge or information.

You can check this Hanbridge Chinese video about how to differentiate the 知道 and 认识.

  • 1
    Nice explanation. Just one comment, 认识 can also be used on places. For example, A: 你认识这个地方吗?(Do you know this place?) B:认识,我以前来过这里。(Yes, I've been here before.)
    – Xiang Zhao
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 17:52

知道 means you have idea about something.

认识 means you have seen something, so you can recognize it.

So I 知道 president Trump, But I don't 认识 him. (in life)

And I 知道 White House, and I won't say I 认识 it or not. Because I have never been there, it does not make too much sense only seen it in photo.

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