“Saber” vs. “Conocer” in Spanish

Saber VS Conocer in Spanish - Learn the Difference and Practice

Welcome to our grammar lesson on how to choose between the verbs 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”

In this lesson, we will learn both the uses of “saber” and the uses of “conocer”, with example sentences.

At the end you’ll find a Quiz and Exercises for practice.

Conjugations in Present Tense

Before we explain the difference between “saber” and “conocer”, let’s review their conjugations in Present Tense:


“saber” vs “conocer”: their meanings

The following table shows the different meanings of “saber” and “conocer”.

We can use this as a guide to choose the right verb in sentences:

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

Let’s study each verb separately, and read example sentences with their different meanings:


Meanings of saber:

  • “to know” in the sense of having an information.
  • “can” in the sense of having a skill.


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).


Meanings of conocer:

  • “to know” in the sense of being familiar with someone or something.
  • to meet” someone for the first time.


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

Good news! There are sentences where we can use “saber” or “conocer”, and either one is OK.

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


Yo la verdad.
Yo conozco la verdad.
Both sentences mean “I know the truth”.

Él sabe el final de la película.
Él conoce el final de la película.
Both sentences mean “He knows the ending of the movie”.



Take this Quiz to test your knowledge about “saber” vs. “conocer”:

Exercise 1

Complete the conjugations of “saber” and “conocer” in Present Tense with the missing forms:

yo4) ____
1) ____conoces
élsabe5) ____
nosotros2) ____conocemos
vosotrossabéis6) ____
ellos3) ____conocen

1) sabes
2) sabemos
3) saben
4) conozco
5) conoce
6) conocéis

Exercise 2

Now we are going to practice “saber” vs “conocer” in sentences.

Fill the gaps choosing between the options in brackets:

1) Ana ___ (sabe/conoce) bailar flamenco.
Ana can dance flamenco.

2) No ___ (sé/conozco) este pueblo.
I don’t know this town.

3) Mis amigos te ___ (conocen/saben).
My friends know you.

4) Ellos ___ (saben/conocen) esquiar.
They can ski (they have that ability).

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

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

1) sabe
2) conozco
3) conocen
4) saben
5) both are OK but “sabemos” sounds better
6) conozco

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