Are the two phrases sich bekannt machen and kennenlernen different or can they be used interchangeably?

1 Answer 1


Kennenlernen (kennen lernen is also allowed since the 1996 spelling reform) roughly translates as get to know.

Morgen werden Sie etwas Neues kennenlernen.

Tomorrow you will get to know something new.

While sich bekanntmachen (or sich bekannt machen) roughly translates as to become acquainted.

Morgen werden Sie sich mit etwas Neuem bekanntmachen müssen.

Tomorrow you have to become acquainted to something new.

It can also be used without an object. That usually means a shakehands between two or more persons.

Sie machten sich (miteinander) bekannt.

They became acquainted to each other.

The difference between the two is the intensity. To become acquainted with someone or something, just nodding "been there, seen that" isn't enough.

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