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◉The difference between [わかりません] and [しりません]

A:TOTOが あたったら、なにを かいたいですか。(If you win the TOTO, what would you like to buy?)

B:まだ わかりません。(I don't know yet.)

A simple English translation would be “わかりません” = “I don’t understand” “しりません” = “I don’t know”.

However, in the above conversation it would be “わかりません” = “I don’t know”

When to use “わかりません” and “しりません” in Japanese

Let me introduce the differences between them today

[Example] A:この もんだいが わかりますか。(Do you understand this question?) B:いいえ、わかりません。(No, I don’t understand.)

“わかりません” is used to express the speaker cannot understand or has been taught something but he/she has forgotten.

[Example] A:先生の でんわばんごうを しっていますか。(Do you know our teacher’s phone number?) B:いいえ、しりません。(No, I don’t know.)

“しりません” is used to express that the speaker does not have knowledge about something.

In addition, “わかりません” is used when you answer “NO” referring to yourself, whereas, “しりません” is used when you answer “NO” referring to someone else like in the sentences below.

[Example] A:なつやすみに 日本へ いきますか。(Will you go to Japan on your summer vacation?) B:まだ、わかりません。(I don’t know yet.) しりません Referring to yourself

A:わたしの さいふを みましたか。(Did you see my wallet?) B:えっ、しりません。(No, I don’t know.) Referring to someone else

Finally, a small quiz

Q:(After I searched on the Internet,)この ゲームの やりかたが (わかりません/しりません)。

What do you think the answer is?

I hope you understand the difference between them and this article will be of use to you

Miu Tomo Japanese Language School

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