Spanish The Verbs "to know"
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.
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.
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