8.5. PRESENT TENSE: To know something/someone – Saber and Conocer
The verb ‘to know’ in Spanish can be a bit tricky. Spanish has 2 verbs ‘saber’ and ‘conocer’ which both mean ‘to know’.
'Saber' is used to express knowing facts or knowing how to do something.
'Conocer' is used when you are acquainted with something or meet someone.
Let’s take a look at the conjugations of the two verbs and then go over a few examples to demonstrate in which context you use each one.
SABER – to know (facts or how to do something)
Yo sé – I know
Tú sabes – You know
Usted sabe – You know
Él/Ella sabe – He/She knows
Nosotros/Nosotras sabemos – We know
Ustedes saben – You know
Ellos/Ellas saben – They know
'Saber' is used when you know a fact or you have knowledge of something.
Here are some examples of how to use the verb 'saber':
No sé nada de arte – I don’t know anything about art
Ella sabe conducir – She knows how to drive
Sabemos cómo arreglar esto – We know how to fix this.
Ellos saben dónde vivimos – They know where we live
CONOCER – to be acquainted with something or get to know someone or even a place
Yo conozco – I know
Tú conoces – You know
Usted conoce – You know
Él/Ella conoce – He/She knows
Nosotros/Nosotras conocemos – We know
Ustedes conocen – You know
Ellos/Ellas conocen – They know
Now some examples of how to use the verb 'conocer':
Conozco la hermana de María – I know Maria’s sister
¿Usted conoce Madrid? – Are you familiar with Madrid? / Have you been to Madrid?
Conocemos muy bien a Rubén y a Carlos – We know Ruben and Carlos very well
Ellos conocen bien las calles de esta ciudad – They know the streets of this city well