Saber vs. Conocer

Getting to Know Saber and Conocer

In Spanish, there are two verbs that can express the idea of knowing: saber  and conocer . It's important to know the differences between the two because they're not interchangeable. Let's learn the meaning of these two very important verbs!

Saber

Saber is used to talk about facts or learned skills. You can use it to talk about information you've memorized or to say you know how to swim, draw, speak a language, etc.

Saber Present Indicative Forms

Here are the conjugations of saber in the present indicative.

SubjectPresent
yo
 
sabes
 
él, ella, usted
sabe
 
nosotros
sabemos
 
vosotros
sabéis
 
ellos, ellas, ustedes
saben
 
Present
yo 
sabes 
él, ella, ustedsabe 
nosotrossabemos 
vosotrossabéis 
ellos, ellas, ustedessaben 

Now that you know how to conjugate saber, check out these examples.

hablar español.
I know how to speak Spanish.
 
Anita no sabe nadar.
Anita doesn’t know how to swim.
 
¿Sabes si Stephanie está casada?
Do you know if Stephanie is married?
 
¿Sabes dónde hay un buen café?
Do you know where a good cafe is?
 

To express the knowledge of how “to do” something, use saber plus an infinitive.

Conocer

Conocer 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 book, a movie, a country, or a certain person.

Conocer Present Indicative Forms

Here are the conjugations of conocer in the present indicative.

SubjectPresent
yo
conozco
 
conoces
 
él, ella, usted
conoce
 
nosotros
conocemos
 
vosotros
conocéis
 
ellos, ellas, ustedes
conocen
 
Present
yoconozco 
conoces 
él, ella, ustedconoce 
nosotrosconocemos 
vosotrosconocéis 
ellos, ellas, ustedesconocen 

Now that you know how to conjugate conocer, check out these examples.

Conozco un buen sitio para ver la puesta del sol.
I know a good place to watch the sunset.
 
Conoce una película que tal vez te interese.
He knows a movie that may interest you.
 
No conocemos Madrid.
We are not acquainted with Madrid.
 
¿Conoces a mi amiga Melissa?
Do you know my friend Melissa?
 

The use of the personal a must be used after conocer when talking about a person.

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