Usually when you translate verbs from one language to another, you will end up with a direct translation. Although, an interesting verb in Slovene is the verb “to know” in English, because depending on the context, it can be translated into three Slovene versions.
Vedeti – to know
The verb vedeti (to know) is used for common knowledge or things that can be learnt through information or observation.
- Vem, da je Slovenija v Evropi5. (I know that Slovenia is in Europe).
- A veste koliko je 5 krat 5 (Do you know how much is 5 times 5)?
- Vem, katera kavarna ima najboljšo kavo4 (I know which coffee shop has the best coffee).
- Veliko veste o politiki5(You know a lot about politics).
Znati – to know
The verb znati (to know) is used for knowledge, like a language or a skill.
- Znam slovensko4, angleško4, francosko4 in kitajsko4.
(I know Slovene, English, French and Chinese).
- Pika zna plavati, kuhati in voziti (Pika knows to swim, to cook and to drive).
Poznati – to know
The verb poznati (to know) is used when you know about someone or something.
- Poznam to pesem4 (I know this song).
- A poznate Martino4 ki živi v Kranju5 (Do you know Martina that lives in Kranj)?
- Tina veliko potuje in pozna veliko držav (Tina travels a lot and knows many countries).
Bonus : Spoznati – to meet, to get to know, to realize
The verb spoznati (to meet, to get to know, to realize) can be confusing because it contains the verb znati and poznati, but has a different meaning.
- Tilen in Maja sta spoznala na jezikovnem tečaju5 (Tilen and Maja met at the course).
- Karl hoče spoznati Katjo4 (Karl wants to get to know Katja).
- Jan je spoznal, da voziti med prometni konici5 ni dobra ideja. (Jan realized that driving during rush hour is not a good idea).
When you’re not sure which Slovene verbs to use, always remember the context! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me!
Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & Numerals, Slovene Nouns & Pronouns, Slovene Verbs, Slovene Adjectives, Slovene Syntax, Slovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.