Grammar Guide
Verbs
"Saber" vs. "Conocer"

"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 Tense Form
yo
sabes
él, ella, usted
sabe
nosotros
sabemos
vosotros
sabéis
ellos, ellas, ustedes
saben
Present Tense Form
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 Juanita está casada?
Do you know if Juanita 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. For example, Yo sé cocinar. (I know how to cook.)

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 Tense Form
yo
conozco
conoces
él, ella, usted
conoce
nosotros
conocemos
vosotros
conocéis
ellos, ellas, ustedes
conocen
Present Tense Form
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 personal a must be used after conocer when talking about a person.

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