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Quick answer
"Encontrarse con" is a pronominal verb phrase which is often translated as "to meet with", and "conocer" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to know". Learn more about the difference between "encontrarse con" and "conocer" below.
encontrarse con(
A pronominal verb phrase combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Se dio cuenta del problema.)
pronominal verb phrase
1. (to get together)
a. to meet with
Encontrarse con amigos nunca es mala idea.Meeting with friends is never a bad idea.
2. (to discover)
a. to find
Al levantarse, se encontró con que se había quedado sin café.When he got up, he found he had run out of coffee.
Cuando llegué a casa, me encontré con un desorden tremendo.When I arrived home, I found a huge mess.
b. to come across
Revisando unos cajones, me encontré con dinero que no recordaba tener ahí.Rummaging through my drawers, I came across some money I didn't remember I had there.
3. (to meet unexpectedly)
a. to run into
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
Ayer me encontré con Carlos mientras caminaba por el parque.Yesterday, I ran into Carlos while I was walking in the park.
b. to encounter
Te encontrarás con muchos obstáculos en el camino, pero no abandones.You'll encounter many obstacles along the road, but don't give up.
c. to bump into
¿A que no sabés con quién me encontré hoy?Guess who I bumped into today?
encontrar con
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
4. (general)
a. to find ... with
Me resulta difícil encontrar con quién ir al cine porque a nadie le gustan las películas que me gustan a mí.It's hard for me to find someone to go to the movies with because nobody likes the movies I like.
Se divorció de su esposo porque lo encontró con otra mujer en la cama.She divorced her husband because she found him with another woman in bed.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to be acquainted with)
a. to know
Conozco a tu amigo del colegio.I know your friend from school.
2. (to see for the first time)
a. to meet
¿Conoces a mi hermana?Have you met my sister?
3. (to have knowledge of)
a. to know
Conozco una buena manera de pelar papas.I know an easy way to peel potatoes.
b. to be familiar with
Estuve una vez en Cuzco pero no lo conozco bien.I’ve been to Cuzco once, but I am not familiar with it.
4. (to find out about)
a. to get to know (a person or a place)
Conociéndolo mejor, veo que es buena persona.Getting to know him better, I can see he's a good person.
Cuando llegamos a Madrid, salimos a caminar para conocer la ciudad.When we got to Madrid, we went out to walk around and get to know the city.
5. (to discover)
a. to visit
Siempre me hablas de tu ciudad natal pero ¿cuando la voy a conocer?You always talk to me about your home town, but when do I get to visit it?
b. to go to
Quiero conocer el sudeste asiático este verano.I want to go to Southeast Asia this summer.
c. to see
Ellos conocieron toda Europa durante su luna de miel.They saw all of Europe during their honeymoon.
6. (to identify)
a. to recognize
¡No te conocía sin las gafas!I didn't recognize you without your glasses!
b. to know
Todos la conocen por su risa contagiosa.Everyone knows her by her contagious laugh.
7. (to experience)
a. to feel
Estos guerreros no conocen el miedo.These warriors feel no fear.
b. to know
Conoce muy bien el daño que puede causar la guerra.He knows full well the damage that war can cause.
A word or phrase restricted in usage to literature or established writing (e.g. sex, once upon a time).
(to have sexual relations with)
a. to know
A word or phrase that is seldom used in contemporary language and is recognized as being from another decade, (e.g. cat, groovy).
Lázaro aún no había conocido hembra.Lazarus had yet to know a woman.
9. (to master)
a. to know
¡No te preocupes! Ella conoce este tema como la palma de su mano.Don't worry! She knows this topic like the back of her hand.
b. to speak (languages)
Ella conoce el francés y el alemán porque se crió en Suiza.She speaks French and German because she was raised in Switzerland.
10. (legal)
a. to try
El caso debe ser conocido por un gran jurado.The case must be tried by a grand jury.
An impersonal verb is a verb with no apparent subject (e.g. Llueve en España.).
11. (to appear)
a. to seem
Se conoce que tienen problemas.It seems like they are having problems.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
12. (legal; usado con "de")
a. to try
El juez que conoce del caso podría ser recusado por una de las partes.The judge who tried the case may be recused by either party.
13. (to have knowledge of; used with "de")
a. to know about
Él conoce de esa industria porque su papá fue ingeniero.He knows about that industry because his dad was an engineer.
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
14. (to be self-aware)
a. to know oneself
Me conozco mejor que nadie.I know myself better than anyone else.
A reciprocal verb is a verb that indicates that two or more subjects perform an action on each other (e.g. Ellos se abrazan.).
15. (to be acquainted with)
a. to know each other
Se conocen del colegio.They know each other from school.
16. (to see for the first time)
a. to meet
Se conocieron en un curso de inglés.They met during an English class.
17. (to become familiar with one another)
a. to get to know each other
Es una pena que no nos llegamos a conocer mejor.It's a shame we didn't get to know each other better.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
18. (to be known)
a. to know
Se conoce todo el chisme del pueblo.He knows all of the town gossip.
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