Frame description

When a Cognizer is familiar with an Entity, this means it has been seen or experienced by the Cognizer on a certain number of occasions, causing the Entity to have a degree of recognizability for the Cognizer.

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Details
Examples
Grammar Notes
Sentence Templates
Alternate Forms

Frame Elements

Frame Element descriptions (on hover):

The person to whom the Entity is familiar.

A concrete thing, abstract phenomenon or fact that is (to some Degree) recognizable and thus familiar to the Cognizer.

The Entity's level of familiarity for the Cognizer.

Details
Examples
Grammar Notes
Sentence Templates
Alternate Forms
See All Information
bekannt adjective known, familiar, acquainted

Details:

known, familiar, acquainted

Related to the verb "kennen" ("to know"), this adjective for "known" is applied to the Entity, with or without the Cognizer present. When used without mentioning a Cognizer, "bekannt" has a very general meaning; that the Entity is well known (by many people). If a Cognizer is mentioned, it appears in the dative case, as in "diese Theorie ist mir bekannt" ("this theory is to me known"). Alternatively, the Cognizer can be the subject of the verb "sein" ("to be"), and the Entity appears after "mit" ("with"). In this case, "bekannt" is better translated as "acquainted." See the sentence templates.

The common expression "bekannt vorkommen," is used to say that something seems familiar. It is used with the Entity as subject and the Cognizer in the dative case, just as described above. For example, "seine Stimme kam mir bekannt vor" translates to "his voice seemed familiar to me" (literally: "his voice came before me known").

When this adjective is made into a noun, "der/die Bekannte," "the acquaintance," it evokes the Personal Relationship frame. Additional related expressions, "bekannt geben" ("to notify") and "bekannt machen" ("to make known"), evoke Communication.

Example Sentences:

  1. Der Bürgermeister ist in Dortmund gut bekannt.
  2. Ernst Bloch war ein bekannter Philosoph.
  3. Die Schadenshöhe des Feuers ist noch nicht bekannt.
  4. Hauke ist mit ihm gut bekannt.
  5. Mozart ist vielleicht der bekannteste Komponist.
  6. Mit ihr war ein junger Mann, der mir bekannt vorkam.
  1. The mayor is in Dortmund well known.
  2. Ernst Bloch was a well known philosopher.
  3. The extent of the damage of the fire is still not known.
  4. Hauke is with him well acquainted.
  5. Mozart is perhaps the best known composer.
  6. With her was a young man, who to me appeared familiar.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. ENTITY ist bekannt.
  2. ENTITY ist COGNIZER.dative bekannt.
  3. COGNIZER ist mit ENTITY bekannt.
  4. [ein bekannt- ENTITY]
  5. ENTITY kommt COGNIZER.dative bekannt vor.
  1. ENTITY is known.
  2. ENTITY is to COGNIZER known.
  3. COGNIZER is with ENTITY acquainted.
  4. [a known ENTITY]
  5. ENTITY appears familiar to COGNIZER.

Details:

known, familiar, acquainted

Related to the verb "kennen" ("to know"), this adjective for "known" is applied to the Entity, with or without the Cognizer present. When used without mentioning a Cognizer, "bekannt" has a very general meaning; that the Entity is well known (by many people). If a Cognizer is mentioned, it appears in the dative case, as in "diese Theorie ist mir bekannt" ("this theory is to me known"). Alternatively, the Cognizer can be the subject of the verb "sein" ("to be"), and the Entity appears after "mit" ("with"). In this case, "bekannt" is better translated as "acquainted." See the sentence templates.

The common expression "bekannt vorkommen," is used to say that something seems familiar. It is used with the Entity as subject and the Cognizer in the dative case, just as described above. For example, "seine Stimme kam mir bekannt vor" translates to "his voice seemed familiar to me" (literally: "his voice came before me known").

When this adjective is made into a noun, "der/die Bekannte," "the acquaintance," it evokes the Personal Relationship frame. Additional related expressions, "bekannt geben" ("to notify") and "bekannt machen" ("to make known"), evoke Communication.

Alternate Forms:

bekannter, am bekanntesten
kennen verb to know

Details:

to know

In contrast to “wissen” (“to know”), which is used to describe awareness of facts about the world, the verb “kennen” (“to know”) is used to describe familiarity with a person, place or other complex Entity. Thus, “kennen” evokes the Familiarity frame while “wissen” evokes the Awareness frame.

So when expressing what you "know" in German, you have to think about the nature of your knowledge. Is it knowledge of a complex entity? Knowledge that cannot be stored in your mental model of the world as a data point? Something whose nature and ways you know by experience? If this is the case, then “kennen” is the verb you want. If, on the other hand, it is a fact that you hold in your mental model of the world, then you should use “wissen” instead.

Example Sentences:

  1. Ich kenne diese Stadt gar nicht.
  2. Kennst du Hannah?
  3. Kennen Sie hier ein gutes Geschäft?
  4. Maja kennt den Präsidenten persönlich.
  5. Ich kenne die Spieler, ich kenne den Verein.
  6. Der Westen kannte damals noch keinen islamistischen Terror.
  7. Sie ist immer noch Deine Mutter, der Mensch, den du kanntest.
  1. I know this town not at all.
  2. Do you know Hannah?
  3. Do you know here a good store?
  4. Maja knows the president personally.
  5. I know the players, I know the club.
  6. The west knew back then still no Islamic terror.
  7. She is always yet your mother, the person whom you knew.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. COGNIZER kennt ENTITY.
  2. COGNIZER kennt ENTITY DEGREE.adverb.
  3. COGNIZER kennt ENTITY an ENTITYs Stimme/usw.
  1. COGNIZER knows ENTITY.
  2. COGNIZER knows ENTITY DEGREE.adverb.
  3. COGNIZER knows ENTITY by ENTITY's voice/etc.

Details:

to know

In contrast to “wissen” (“to know”), which is used to describe awareness of facts about the world, the verb “kennen” (“to know”) is used to describe familiarity with a person, place or other complex Entity. Thus, “kennen” evokes the Familiarity frame while “wissen” evokes the Awareness frame.

So when expressing what you "know" in German, you have to think about the nature of your knowledge. Is it knowledge of a complex entity? Knowledge that cannot be stored in your mental model of the world as a data point? Something whose nature and ways you know by experience? If this is the case, then “kennen” is the verb you want. If, on the other hand, it is a fact that you hold in your mental model of the world, then you should use “wissen” instead.

Alternate Forms:

(er) kennt, hat gekannt, kannte
neu adjective new

Details:

new

In the Thinking: Familiarity frame, "neu" ("new") applies when the Cognizer has not been familiar with the Entity for very long. Typically, the interpretation includes the idea that the Cognizer's understanding or experience was different before the Entity came along, for example with "neue Informationen" ("new information"), which implies that the previous information was different,  and says nothing about how long the information existed.

Note that "neu" ("new") more often evokes the Age frame, where the interpretation is that the Entity has only existed for a short time (or has only existed in a certain capacity for a short time).

Example Sentences:

  1. Es gibt heute keine neue Nachrichten.
  2. Das ist mir völlig neu!
  3. »Krieg und Frieden« war auch für mich neu.
  4. In Rheinland-Pfalz sind neue fragwürdige Spenden aufgetaucht.
  5. Man wollte wissen, ob die neuen Informationen die demokratische Präsidentschaftskandidatin zerstören würden.
  1. There are today no new news.
  2. That is to me totally new!
  3. "War and Peace" was also for me new.
  4. In Rheinland-Pfalz have new questionable donations appeared.
  5. One wanted to know, whether the new information would destroy the democratic presidential candidate.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. ENTITY ist neu.
  2. ENTITY ist COGNIZER.dative neu.
  3. ENTITY ist für COGNIZER neu.
  4. [ein neu- ENTITY]
  1. ENTITY is new.
  2. ENTITY is to COGNIZER new.
  3. ENTITY is for COGNIZER new.
  4. [a new ENTITY]

Details:

new

In the Thinking: Familiarity frame, "neu" ("new") applies when the Cognizer has not been familiar with the Entity for very long. Typically, the interpretation includes the idea that the Cognizer's understanding or experience was different before the Entity came along, for example with "neue Informationen" ("new information"), which implies that the previous information was different,  and says nothing about how long the information existed.

Note that "neu" ("new") more often evokes the Age frame, where the interpretation is that the Entity has only existed for a short time (or has only existed in a certain capacity for a short time).

Alternate Forms:

neuer, am neu(e)sten
sich auskennen verb to know one's way around, to be well informed

Details:

to know one's way around (a place), to be well informed (about something), to be experienced (with something)

This reflexive verb is used to indicate that the Cognizer is very familiar with the Entity because of their experience with it. There is no perfect translation in English, but "sich auskennen" is similar in meaning to "to know one's way around." In the Familiarity frame, the Entity is most often a place. Thus, "sich auskennen" is commonly used with a locative phrase (i.e. one that describes a location) to encode the Entity, such as "da" ("there"), "in dieser Stadt" ("in this town") or "an diesem Ort" ("at this place"). A variety of prepositions that describe location can be used to introduce the Entity, but "in" ("in") is the most common.

It is also possible to use a prepositional phrase with "mit" ("with") or "bei" ("at, with") with "sich auskennen," e.g. "Ich kenne mich mit Computern aus" ("I know my way around computers") or "Ich kenne mich bei Frauen aus" ("I know my way around women"). However, these uses typically refer to an entity in a general way, as a Topic. Thus these are better characterized as instances of a different frame that involves understanding. 

Example Sentences:

  1. Hier kenne ich mich nicht aus.
  2. Sebastian kennt sich da gut aus.
  3. Julie war froh, dass ihre Freunde sich in Berlin gut auskannten.
  4. Auch auf der Trainingsfläche muss man sich auskennen.
  1. Here, I don't know my way around.
  2. Sebastian knows his way around there well.
  3. Julie was happy that her friends knew their way around in Berlin.
  4. Also on the training area, one must know one's way around.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. COGNIZER kennt sich in ENTITY aus.
  2. COGNIZER kennt sich da/hier aus.
  1. COGNIZER knows their way around ENTITY.
  2. COGNIZER knows their way around there/here.

Details:

to know one's way around (a place), to be well informed (about something), to be experienced (with something)

This reflexive verb is used to indicate that the Cognizer is very familiar with the Entity because of their experience with it. There is no perfect translation in English, but "sich auskennen" is similar in meaning to "to know one's way around." In the Familiarity frame, the Entity is most often a place. Thus, "sich auskennen" is commonly used with a locative phrase (i.e. one that describes a location) to encode the Entity, such as "da" ("there"), "in dieser Stadt" ("in this town") or "an diesem Ort" ("at this place"). A variety of prepositions that describe location can be used to introduce the Entity, but "in" ("in") is the most common.

It is also possible to use a prepositional phrase with "mit" ("with") or "bei" ("at, with") with "sich auskennen," e.g. "Ich kenne mich mit Computern aus" ("I know my way around computers") or "Ich kenne mich bei Frauen aus" ("I know my way around women"). However, these uses typically refer to an entity in a general way, as a Topic. Thus these are better characterized as instances of a different frame that involves understanding. 

Alternate Forms:

(er) kennt sich aus, hat sich ausgekannt, kannte sich aus
unbekannt adjective unknown, unfamiliar

Details:

unkown, unfamiliar

This adjective is applied to an Entity (e.g. "er ist unbekannt," "he is unknown"), and the Cognizer (if present at all) is realized using the dative case. When the Cognizer is absent, a general interpretation is assumed, for example, "die Band ist relativ unbekannt" ("the band is relatively unknown").

Example Sentences:

  1. Der Täter ist unbekannt.
  2. Der Inhalt des Berichts ist noch unbekannt.
  3. 2008 war die damalige Gouverneurin von Alaska relativ unbekannt in den USA.
  4. Nicht viele Deutsche entscheiden sich für den recht unbekannten Beruf als Vergolder.
  5. Diese Stadt sollte meine Heimat sein, aber sie kam mir unbekannt vor.
  6. Ein mir unbekanntes Geräusch ließ die Luft vibrieren.
  7. Was ich darin sah, war mir unbekannt.
  1. The perpetrator is unknown.
  2. The content of the report is still unknown.
  3. In 2008, the then governor of Alaska was relatively unknown in the USA.
  4. Not many Germans choose the quite unknown profession of gilder.
  5. This city was supposed to be my home, but it appeared to me unfamiliar.
  6. A to me unfamiliar noise made the air vibrate.
  7. What I saw in there was to me unfamiliar.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. ENTITY ist unbekannt.
  2. ENTITY ist COGNIZER.dative unbekannt.
  3. [ein unbekannt- ENTITY]
  4. [ein COGNIZER.dative unbekannt- ENTITY]
  5. ENTITY kommt COGNIZER.dative unbekannt vor.
  1. ENTITY is unknown.
  2. ENTITY is to COGNIZER unknown.
  3. [an unknown ENTITY]
  4. [a to COGNIZER unknown ENTITY]
  5. ENTITY appears to COGNIZER unknown.

Details:

unkown, unfamiliar

This adjective is applied to an Entity (e.g. "er ist unbekannt," "he is unknown"), and the Cognizer (if present at all) is realized using the dative case. When the Cognizer is absent, a general interpretation is assumed, for example, "die Band ist relativ unbekannt" ("the band is relatively unknown").

Alternate Forms:

unbekannter, am unbekanntesten