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Published on: Grammar Bites

Brush up your Spanish Grammar: Differences between Saber and Conocer (Lower Beginners II)

Saber and Conocer are one of those verb pairings that can drive students locos, so let’s brush up our Spanish grammar skills with this easy guide!

First, let’s take a look at their conjugations in the present tense. Notice that both verbs are irregular only on the first person singular (yo):

Verbo Saber:

1. We use it to indicate intelectual knowledge and to discuss information. Para saber algo, primero tenemos que aprender, estudiar, leer, escuchar, memorizar:

  • Juanita sabe el alfabeto en español.
  • Los niños saben los números del 1 al 100.
  • sabes mi nombre.

2. We use it to talk about someone’s skills (habilidades) using the structure saber + infinitivo:

  • Rubén sabe cocinar muy bien.
  • Cecilia sabe tocar la guitarra.
  • Ellos saben jugar al baloncesto.
Verbo Conocer:

We use it to express familiarity with a person, object, idea, or place. We use it to express material, first-hand knowledge. Para conocer algo, primero tenemos que ver o mirar, visitar, viajar:

  • – ¿Conoces a los padres de Teresa?
    – No, yo no conozco a los padres de Teresa.
  • Ellos no conocen el museo. Lo quieren visitar esta semana.
  • – ¿Conoces este libro?
    – Sí lo conozco.

We can use both saber and conocer in the following context. However, note that the meaning changes:

  • Sylvia sabe esta canción. (Meaning, she can sing the whole song.)
  • Sylvia conoce esta canción. (Meaning, she’s heard the song before.)
Continue with your Spanish grammar review and keep improving your skills with our Grammar Bites HERE!
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