Getting to Know Saber and Conocer
In Spanish, there are two verbs that can express the idea of knowing: saberand 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 is used to talk about facts or learned skills. You can use it to talk about information you've memorized or to say you are able to swim, draw, speak a language, etc.
Saber Present Indicative Forms
Here are the conjugations of saber in the present indicative.
Now that you know how to conjugate saber, check out these examples.
Conocer is used to express familiarity (or lack thereof) with a person, place, or thing. For example you can know, or be familiar 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.
Now that you know how to conjugate conocer, check out these examples.
The personal a must be used after conocer when talking about a person.
Now that you've learned the main differences between saber and conocer, here are some additional uses you should keep in mind when using these verbs.
Saber and Conocer in the Preterite
In the preterite, both saber and conocer can have other meanings. Saber conjugated in the preterite can mean found out, and conocer conjugated in the preterite can translate as met.
Check out the following examples.
To say you know something from memory/by heart, use saberse.
Take a look at this example.
Conocer in Reciprocal Sentences
Conocer can be used with a reciprocal pronoun to refer to two or more people knowing or meeting each other.
Check out these examples.
Expressions Using the Verb Saber
In Spanish, we have a number of set phrases that use the verb saber. Here are a few good ones to know!
|Phrase in Spanish||Meaning in English|
|to not know the first thing about something|
|as far as I know|
|just so you know|
|how should I know!|
|without my knowledge|
|your guess is as good as mine|
|if I’d only known|