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Using the verb kennenlernen

The verb kennenlernen ("to get to know," "to make the acquaintance of," "to meet") is without a doubt an important one, but it's a bit tricky. For our beginners and anyone who needs a review, let's look at various conjugations of this separable verb as we look at some sentences from Yabla German


First of all, here it is again in the infinitive. Note that kennenlernen is one word:


Der Vermieter möchte uns kennenlernen.

The landlord would like to meet us.

Caption 42, Mein Weg nach DeutschlandL Auf Wohnungssuche

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In this next example, kennenlernen is used in the present tense, and more specifically in the third person singular. You'll note that lernen gets conjugated, whereas kennen remains in the infinitive but moves to the end of the sentence:


Man lernt mehr Leute kennen.

One gets to know more people.

Caption 37, Anna Am Strand: in Mexiko

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The same thing, which is normal for separable verbs, happens in the simple past tense:


Und so lernte die Prinzessin ihren Ehemann kennen.

And this is how the Princess met her husband.

Caption 35, Märchen - Sagenhaft: König Drosselbart

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In the following phrases, which you will most certainly need to know, kennenlernen is integrated into a subordinate clause with zu:


Schön, dich kennenzulernen. -Schön, dich kennenzulernen.

Nice to meet you. -Nice to meet you.

Caption 10, Paula & Heide: aus Berlin

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Freut mich, dich kennenzulernen. -Hallo.

Pleased to meet you. -Hello.

Caption 16, Nicos Weg: Feste und Feiertage

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Nun, ich freue mich, Sie dann kennenzulernen.

So, I am looking forward to meeting you then.

Caption 49, Berufsleben: das Vorstellungsgespräch

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In the present perfect, which is often used to talk about the past in German, we see the participle of the verb: 


Ich habe diesen netten Kerl kennengelernt.

I met this nice guy.

Caption 35, Die Wohngemeinschaft: Die Verabredung

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And this example also refers to what has already happened: 


Aber ich find's nett, Sie kennengelernt zu haben.

But I think it's nice to have met you.

Caption 36, Die Pfefferkörner: Alles auf Anfang

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Further Learning
There's no shortage of examples on Yabla German, so have a look and practice telling people it was nice to meet them, or talking about when you first met various people you know. 

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