This is Part 2 ( as the title suggests) of an introduction to the Spanish verbs “SABER” and “CONOCER” – both meaning “to know” in English.
For native English speakers, it’s interesting to take a little time to get an idea about the different concepts behind “to know” and the two different Spanish verbs.
It was my dear friend Lorna who asked me to clarify the difference between SABER (‘to know’) and CONOCER (also ‘to know’). This is the point I’d suggest, that if you haven’t already done so, you take a quick look back at Part 1 – (link above) as it will help to clarify the difference between the two verbs even more.
SABER is used basically for knowing facts. It’s also used knowing HOW TO do something.
CONOCER is used for knowing people and places, in the sense of being acquainted with them.
Let’s take a look at being acquainted with people.
There’s also a sense of meeting someone for the first time because that’s really when you became acquainted with them.
(YO) CONOZCO A JUAN = I know John i.e. I’m acquainted with him/ I’ve met him.
(YO) NO CONOZCO A TU HERMANO = I don’t know your brother./I haven’t met your brother.
NOTE: Spanish speakers don’t tend to use YO, or the other subject pronouns when it’s clear by the verb ending who you are referring to.
So, more natural Spanish is: CONOZCO A JUAN
NO CONOZCO A TU HERMANO
We use CONOCER in introductions.
CARMEN ¿CONOCES A MARÍA? Carmen, do you know María / Have you met María (before)?
SI, LA CONOZCO Yes, I know her / I have met her before.
NO, NO LA CONOZCO No I don’t know her / I haven’t met her before.
MARÍA, ¿CONOCES A JUAN? María, do you know Juan / Have you met Juan (before)?
SI, LO CONOZCO Yes, I know him/ I’ve met him before.
NO, NO LO CONOZCO No, I don’t know him/ I haven’t met him before.
¡ME CONOZCO! (In a sort of philosophical context) I know myself!
¡NO ME CONOCES! You don’t know me! (And when you do you might regret it. Just kidding.
CONOCER(SE) (to know each other
This is the ‘reflexive form of the verb CONOCER using Reflexive Pronouns:: ME, TE, SE, NOS, OS, SE.
¿OS CONOCEÍS? do you know each other?
SÍ, NOS CONOCEMOS Yes, we know each other
NO, NO NOS CONOCEMOS No, we don’t know each other
NOS CONOCEMOS DESDE QUE ERAMOS NIÑOS We’ve known each other since we were children (Literally: We know each other since we were children
So that was a brief idea about how to use CONOCER referring to people.
Let’s see how to use CONOCER when referring to places
¿CONOCES MADRID? Do you know Madrid / Have you been to Madrid yet.
SI, LO CONOZCO. I know it / I have been there.
NO, NO LO CONOZCO No I don’t know it/ I haven’t been there.
QUIERO CONOCER EL MUNDO I want to know the world /I want to travel the world.
¿CONOCES EL CHIRINGUITO CERCA DEL PUERTO? Do you know the beach bar near the port?
SI, LO CONOZCO. Yes, I know it / I’ve been there. (Of course, I’ve been there!)
GRAMMAR ALERT: For those who get panic attacks when the word GRAMMAR is mentioned, then please skip the next paragraph. No need to get all het up about stuff that doesn’t really matter…yet!
(ELLA) CONOCE / (ÉL) CONOCE / (USTED) CONOCE
(NOSOTRAS) CONOCEMOS/ (NOSOTROS) CONOCEMOS
(VOSOTRAS) CONOCÉIS / (VOSOTROS) CONOCÉIS
(ELLAS) CONOCEN/ (ELLOS) CONOCEN / (USTEDES) CONOCEN
- If you have any grammar point you’d like me to go into a little more or clarify, let me know in the comment box below.
- If you’d like to get my free e-book about when to use SER, “Focus on SER” (TO BE) you could supply your contact details in the pop-up box provided.
- If you’d like to find out more about News in Slow Spanish, see my previous post here and leave a comment below if you’re interested.