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Знать (to know) is one of the most common verbs in Russian. There are also several important verbs derived from it.
Узнать (perfective)/узнавать (imperfective) is used to talk about learning some information for the first time.
Узнать may be followed by the accusative case, о + prepositional case, про + accusative, or a dependent clause.
In this sense, узнать means to recognize something or someone, to remember you have met a person when you see them.
So, if you see узнать referring to a person, how do you know if it means to recognize them or to meet them for the first time? You see, узнать can only mean “learn for the first time” when talking about facts or discoveries. When we meet a person for the first time, it’s called познакомиться + с + instrumental case. You can, however, say узнать if you are talking about getting to know someone better over time.
Признать (perf.)/признавать (imp.) can refer to confirming something is true. This may be a recognition of an achievement, an admission of guilt, or just an acknowledgement of the state of affairs. Common collocations include признать вину (to admit guilt) and признать поражение (to accept defeat). The related noun is признание (recognition, acknowledgement, confession, admission, etc., depending on the sense of the verb).
You may also see the form признаться + в + prepositional case, meaning “to admit something.” One common example is признаться в любви + dative case (to confess love to someone).
What other -знать verbs would you add to this list?
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