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Ways to Know: Saber v. Conocer


(From the Guantanamera chapter of Musical Spanish, click for PDF lesson)

The expressions "yo sé" or "no sé" are likely to be some of the first you'll hear when you travel to a Spanish speaking destination. Letting people know what you know and don't know can be very important!

yo sé
sabes?
no lo sé

I know
do you know?
I don't know (it)

Spanish divides “to know” into 2 words: saber and conocer. English speakers usually have trouble with this in the beginning, but get the hang of it through practice. A good trick—think of “SABER” words as things that can be LEARNED.

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Don't worry about making mistakes either, as your general message is likely to be understood even if you choose the wrong form of "to know."

saber and conocer - learning the difference

lo conozco a Juan
¿conoces a Roma?
la conocí anoche

I know Juan
are you familiar with Rome?
I met her last night

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Conjugations of saber and conocer

yo

él, ella, Ud.
nosotros
ellos, Uds.

se
sabes
sabe
sabemos
saben
conozco
conoces
conoce
conocemos
conocen
 

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Worksheet: Saber v. Conocer

Quiz: Spanish Words for Knowing

PDF Lesson: Saber v. Conocer through Guantanamera

 

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