Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "to know" in Russian

This Russian word is one of the top 1000 words in Russian. The complete list of most common Russian words is available here.


Meaning: to know, to be aware of, to be familiar with

Pronunciation: [znaht']

Part of speech: verb (imperfective aspect)

Rank: #51 (see frequency list)

One needs to read books to know a lot. Photo by luis de bethencourt CC-SA2.0
 Example sentences:
  • Я знаю русский язык.
  • I know Russian. (I can speak Russian)
  • Он знает всё.
  • He knows everything.
  • Он ничего не знает о тебе.
  • He doesn't know anything about you.
  • Откуда вы знаете?
  • How do you know? (lit: Where do you know from?)
  • Я знаю её со школы.
  • I know her since school.
  • Я не знаю, что делать.
  • I don't know what to do.
  • Как знать!
  • Who knows?

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • дать знать (кому-либо) = to let (somebody) know
  • знать в лицо = to know by sight
  • он знать не хочет = he doesn't want to know; he won't hear of it
  • знаете ли... = you know...
  • знать меру = to know when to stop
  • насколько я знаю = as far as I know
  • знать, что к чему = to know the how and why of things
  • Кто его знает! = Who knows?
  • знать себе цену = to know one's own worth / value
  • знать понаслышке = to know by hearsay
  • знать назубок = to know by heart
  • знать лично каждого = to know everybody by name / personally
  • знать наперед = to know in advance; to foreknow
  • знать, как свои пять пальцев = to know (something) like the back of one's hand
  • знать все ходы и выходы = to know the ins and outs
  • знать интуитивно = to intuit
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Знай, кошка, свое лукошко.
  • Know your place / limits.
  • Знай край, да не падай.
  • You shouldn’t go over the edge.
  • Всяк сверчок знай свой шесток.
  • What Jupiter is allowed to do, cattle are not.
  • Знай толк, не бери в долг.
  • Better go to bed supperless than rise in debt.
  • Знал бы, где упасть, там соломки постлал бы.
  • If you could know where you fall, you would spread some straw.
  • Знать всё -- значит не знать ничего.
  • To know everything is to know nothing.
 Verb conjugation:

Present Tense

I зна́ю
you (singular) зна́ешь
he, she, it зна́ет
we зна́ем
you (plural) зна́ете
they зна́ют

Past Tense

I, you (singular), he зна́л
she зна́ла
it зна́ло
we, you (plural), they зна́ли

Future Simple Tense

The imperfective verb знать is not used in the Future Simple Tense. Use the perfective verb узнать instead.

Future Compound Tense

I буду зна́ть
you (singular) будешь зна́ть
he, she, it будет зна́ть
we будем зна́ть
you (plural) будете зна́ть
they будут зна́ть

Imperative Mood (Command Form)

you (singular) зна́й
you (plural) зна́йте

View full conjugation table for the verb pair знать/узнать

Phrase recordings: Copyright(c) 2011 All rights reserved.
Word recordings: Copyright(c) 2006 Streit Goulnara, Streit Eric, Vion Nicolas. Copyright(c) 2007 S. Sakhno, N. Vion. Distributed under CC-BY.

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