Spanish Grammar Guide

saber and conocer (e.g.: Sé quién es el profesor, lo conozco.)

Questions about saber and conocer

Q: Why is it él conoce al profesor and NOT él sabe al profesor?

R: The verb conocer is used when you mean "to know" or "be familiar with" a person.

Q: Why is it conocemos a ellos and NOT conocemos ellos?

R: You must use the personal a before a noun or pronoun that refers to a person.

Q:  Why is it ustedes saben dónde está la oficina and NOT ustedes conocen dónde está la oficina?

R: Remember, if the following word is a question word like dónde, always use saber. Conocer CANNOT be followed by a clause or an infinitive.

Q: Why is it El niño sabe hablar español and NOT El niño conoce hablar español?

R: Since the phrase is about knowing how to do something (speak Spanish), you should use saber. In general, use saber if the following word is an infinitive.

Q: Why is it los estudiantes saben la lección and NOT los estudiantes conocen la lección?

R: You should use saber before a noun if you mean to have learned something. Use conocer before other nouns like people and places.

Spanish Grammar Guide » Verbs (e.g.: hablar, venir, ser, tener, hacer)
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