Spanish The Verbs "to know"

Beginner Spanish - Level A1

Overview

Saber and conocer both mean "to know" but they are not interchangeable. They not only mean different things… whichever one you pick depends entirely on the context.

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Spanish A1

 

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How to Say "To Know" in Spanish

The Spanish verbs meaning TO KNOW in the Present Tense

I know how to cook Spaghetti. I know Italian. I know my friend’s parents who are from Italy.
In English we can say all three of these sentences and use the same word: KNOW.

However, in Spanish we have two verbs that mean “to know”. The verbs we use to say “to know” in Spanish are SABER and CONOCER. Continue reading this lesson to learn how to choose between using SABER and CONOCER.

WHEN TO USE SABER

WHEN TO USE CONOCER

When expressing knowledge of information

When expressing knowledge/familiarity of a person/place

When expressing knowledge of an ability or skill

When expressing knowledge/familiarity of a thing

 

SABER Examples

CONOCER Examples

I know how to swim.

Yo sé nadar.

 

We know that the president lives in Washington, DC.

Sabemos que el presidente vive en Washington, DC.

**Note: the word “que” is used to express “that” and is almost always used to express information.

 

Did you know that it’s already 12:00?

¿Sabes que ya son las 12:00?

My father is very familiar with Atlanta.

Mi padre conoce bien Atlanta, GA.

 

Do you know Samuel?

¿Conoces a Samuel?

**NOTE: the personal “a” must be used with the verb conocer before naming a person.

 

I know a great book that you would like.

Yo conozco un libro que te gustaría.

 

Now that we know when to use these verbs, let’s be sure we know how to conjugate them. They are both regular verbs in the present tense except for their IRREGULAR YO FORM CONJUGATIONS.

SABER

*Sé

Sabemos

Sabes

Sabéis

Sabe

Saben

 

CONOCER

*Conozco

Conocemos

Conoces

Conocéis

Conoce

Conocen

 
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Let’s practice!

Be sure to click READ MORE to check the answer key once you are finished!
Choose the correct verb given the circumstance below. 

1. My parents know my friend Eliana very well. - ¿Saber o Conocer? 

2. My friend doesn’t know how to dance.  - ¿Saber o Conocer?

3. We know that today is Wednesday.  - ¿Saber o Conocer?

4. I’m not very familiar with Wyoming.  - ¿Saber o Conocer?

Choose the correct verb and conjugate it based on the sentence context and subject given.

5. Mi amiga __________ que me gustan mucho los animales.

6. Ustedes no __________ bien Costa Rica.

7. ¿Tú __________ a la novia de Ricardo?

8. Yo __________ manejar muy bien.

9. Nosotros __________ toda la música de Taylor Swift.

10. Yo __________ muy bien la madre de mi major amiga.

Answer Key: 1. Conocer (knowing a person), 2. Saber (expressing knowledge of a skill), 3. Saber (expressing knowledge of information), 4. Conocer (expressing familiarity of a place), 5. Sabe, 6. Conocen, 7. Conoces, 8. Sé, 9. Conocemos, 10. Conozco

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