Very often, students of Spanish as a foreign language have difficulties with these verbs. Both saber and conocer can be translated as to know, but there are not interchangeable most of the time. Let´s see how they work and their differences.
SABER and CONOCER differences
1. Saber expresses knowing how to do something or knowing a fact.
Sabe de fútbol más que nadie. (He knows football better than anyone.)
2. Conocer expresses knowing in the sense of being acquainted with a person, place, thing, or idea.
¿Conoces a Julia? (Do you know Julie?)
3. Note the differences between saber and conocer in the following examples:
Yo sé hablar español. (I know how to speak Spanish.)
Carlota no sabe la verdad. (She doesn´t know the truth.)
Sabemos la letra de la canción. (We know the lyrics’ song [by heart].)
Yo conozco al señor Martínez. (I know Mr. Martínez.)
¿Conoces este libro? (Do you know [Are you acquainted with] this book?)
Conocemos esa canción. (We know [are acquainted with] that song.)
4. Although, on some occasions, we can use either conocer or saber. The two following sentences have the same meaning «I know the answer«:
Conozco la respuesta.
Sé la respuesta.
You can also know more about these verbs by watching this video.
CONOCER and SABER conjugations
Now you know more about the differences between these two Spanish verbs it’s time to see their full conjugations. Notice that both are irregulars in the present tense, but pay special attention to SABER which is quite irregular.
Time to practice with our Spanish exercises
Once you have reviewed all the grammar, it is time to practice everything you have learned with some exercises. Just fill the gaps in the sentences with the right form of the verbs.
Remember to contact your tutor if you still have any questions about this topic. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet?