Saber vs. Conocer in Spanish – Learn and Practice

Welcome 😊 to our grammar lesson on how to choose between saber and conocer in Spanish.

These 2 verbs have to do with knowledge, but in different ways.

One sentence with "saber" and one with "conocer" in Spanish
One sentence with «saber» and one with «conocer»

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to choose between «saber» and «conocer» in sentences.

You will also find a Quiz and Exercises to practice.

Conjugations in Present Tense

First, let’s review the conjugations of these verbs in Present Tense:

 saberconocer
yoconozco
sabesconoces
élsabeconoce
nosotrossabemosconocemos
vosotrossabéisconocéis
ellossabenconocen

«saber» vs «conocer»: their meanings

The following table shows the different meanings of «saber» and «conocer». Use it as a guide to choose the right verb in sentences:

saberto know, in the sense of having an information
can, in the sense of having a skill
conocerto know, in the sense of being familiar with someone or something
to meet someone for the first time



Let’s read example sentences with their different meanings:

  • saber:

Nosotros sabemos que la Tierra es redonda.
We know the Earth is round. (we have that information).

¿Vosotros sabéis qué pasó?
Do you guys know what happened? (do you have that information?)

Yo hablar español.
I can speak Spanish. (I have that skill)

sabes cocinar.
You can cook. (you have that skill)


  • conocer:

Yo conozco a María.
I know María. (I’m familiar with her)

Mis padres conocen Barcelona.
My parents know Barcelona. (they are familiar with it)

¿Tú me conoces?
Do you know me? (are you familiar with me?)

Nosotros conocemos este libro.
We know this book. (we are familiar with it)

Esta semana he conocido a una mujer muy simpática.
This week I’ve met a very nice woman. (for the first time)

conociste a mis amigos el año pasado.
You met my friends last year. (for the first time)


Sometimes there is flexibility

There are sentences where both «saber» and «conocer» are fine.

It makes sense, because sometimes «having an information» is similar to «being familiar with something».

Examples:

Yo la verdad.
Yo conozco la verdad.
Both mean «I know the truth».

Él sabe el final de la película.
Él conoce el final de la película.
Both mean «He knows the ending of the movie».

Practice

Quiz

Take this short Quiz about «saber» vs. «conocer»:


Exercise 1

Complete the conjugations of «saber» and «conocer» in Present Tense with the missing forms. Click on the gray spaces to see the solutions:

 saberconocer
yoconozco
sabesconoces
élsabeconoce
nosotrossabemosconocemos
vosotrossabéisconocéis
ellossabenconocen

Exercise 2

Fill the gaps choosing between «saber» and «conocer»:

1) Ana sabe bailar flamenco.
Ana can dance flamenco. (she has that skill)

2) No conozco este pueblo.
I don’t know this town.

3) Mis amigos te conocen .
My friends know you.

4) Ellos saben esquiar.
They can ski. (they have that skill)

5) Nosotros sabemos por qué las plantas son verdes.
We know why plants are green.

6) Todos los días conozco a gente nueva.
Every day I meet new people. (for the first time)