The difference between รู้, รู้จัก, and ทราบ

by | Oct 19, 2020 | Thai, Vocabulary

The word ‘To know’ can be divided into two words in Thai which are รู้ (and ทราบ) and รู้จัก (róo, sâap, róo jàk). In this article, we will discover the differences between these words.

To know in Thai

To know a person, a place, a thing = รู้จัก róo jàk

รู้จัก róo jàk is used to express familiarity or acquaintance (or lack thereof) with a person, place, or thing. For example, you can know, or be acquainted with a movie, a book, a country, a place, or a certain person.

You will understand more from the examples below.


  • Which Thai singers do you know?
    róo jàk nák-róng-tai kon năi bâang

  • I know Beyonce.
    róo jàk bee yon sây

  • I don’t know you.
    chăn mâi róo jàk ter

  • Do you know this road?
    róo jàk tà-nŏn-sâyn-née măi

  • How much do you know about Thailand?
    róo jàk bprà-tâyt tai mâak tâo rai

To know (knowledge) = รู้ róo

รู้ róo is used to talk about facts or information you know.

รู้ róo is usually followed by the word ว่า wâa which means ‘that’ = “I know that ….”.

ทราบ sâap has exactly the same definition and is used in exactly the same situations. The only difference is ทราบ is more formal.

In the below examples, you can replace รู้ with ทราบ and it would mean the same.


  • I know that you didn’t understand.
    chăn róo wâa ter mâi kâo jai

  • I know who he is.
    chăn róo wâa kăo bpen krai

  • Do you know that I like you?
    ter róo măi wâa chăn chôp ter

  • What do you know about Thailand?
    róo à-rai gìeow gàp bprà-tâyt tai bâang

  • Do you know the way back home?
    róo taang glàp bâan măi

⭐️ If you know about someone but you don’t know them personally, you can say:

I know who he is but I don’t know him.
chăn róo wâa kăo bpen krai dtàe chăn mâi róo jàk kăo

I hope you now know the differences between รู้, รู้จัก, and ทราบ (róo, róo jàk, sâap) and when to use each.

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