Spanish Grammar: The Verbs [SABER] vs. [CONOCER]

Spanish Grammar: The Verbs SABER vs. CONOCER

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Spanish Grammar: The Verbs [SABER] vs. [CONOCER]
la gramática española: los verbos [saber] v. [conocer]

  • The verbs [SABER] and [CONOCER] both mean to know.
  • But these verbs have very different meanings.

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In English, we have the verb TO KNOW. This can be used for a variety of purposes, including information and familiarity. However, in Spanish, knowing information is different than getting to know a person (familiarity), or knowing your way around a place. They are two completely different things! Know how to divide the meanings of [SABER] and [CONOCER]!

The verb [SABER] means to either know information (facts, data) or know how to do something. It expresses knowledge.

The Verb [SABER] : TO KNOW (information)
(Present Indicative Tense)
yo I know
SABES you know
él / ella / usted SABE he / she knows – you know
nosotros SABEMOS we know
vosotros SABÉIS  y’all know
ellos / ellas / ustedes SABEN  they / you all know

[SABER] : To know (information, facts, data)

¿Sabe usted dónde está?
Do you know where it is?

¿Sabe usted qué hora es?
Do you know what time is it?

When you use [SABER] to know how to do something, all you need is the conjugated form of the verb [SABER].

(Using the word “cómo” after [SABER] is often mistaken, and is not correct in these sentences.)

Yo hablar español
I know how to speak Spanish

Ellos saben nadar muy bien.
They know how to swim very well.

The verb [CONOCER] means to know someone or something. More specifically, a familiarity with a place of location or meeting someone personally.

The Verb [CONOCER] : TO KNOW (familiar/acquainted)
(Present Indicative Tense)
yo CONOZCO I know (acquainted)
CONOCES you know (acquainted)
él / ella / usted CONOCE he / she knows – you know (acquainted)
nosotros CONOCEMOS we know (acquainted)
vosotros CONOCÉIS  y’all know (acquainted)
ellos / ellas / ustedes CONOCEN  they / you all know (acquainted)

[CONOCER] : To know people, to meet someone, or to be familiar with a place!

¿Conoces tú mi hermana?
Do you know (have you met) my sister?

¿Conoces la maestra de español?
Do you know (have you met) the Spanish teacher.

Nosotros vamos a conocer el presidente.
We are going to meet the president.

Yo le conozco.
I know you.

[CONOCER] with knowing the familiarity of locations or concepts.

¿Conoces tú Madrid?
Do you know (are you familiar) with Madrid?

¿Conoce usted la universidad?
Do you know (are you familiar) with the university?

Adapt

¿Sabes que dice el cartel?
Do you know what the poster says?

No, no sé qué dice el cartel.
No, I do not know what the poster says.

¿Ellos saben dónde estamos?
Do they know where we are?

Si, ellos saben dónde estamos.
Yes, they know where we are.

¿Ellos saben cocinar?
Do they know how to cook?

Si, ellos saben cocinar bien.
Yes, they know how to cook well.

¿Sabe usted hablar inglés?
Do you know how to speak English?

Si, yo sé hablar inglés.
Yes, I know how to speak English.

¿Conoce usted mi hermano?
Have you met my brother?

No, no conozco su hermano todavía.
No, I do not know (have not met) your brother yet.

¿Conoces tú la biblioteca?
Do you know (are you familiar with) the library?

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