Saber vs Conocer

Both the verbs “saber” and “conocer” in Spanish mean “to know”, however they are not interchangeable and you can only use each one in certain contexts. Here we will look at when you should use each one.

Saber

1) Use saber to express that you know a fact or some information.

e.g. ¿Sabes dónde están mis llaves?
Do you know where my keys are?

No sé a qué hora vienen.
I don’t know what time they are coming.

2) To say that you know how to do something or have a certain skill:

e.g. Juan no sabe conducir. Juan doesn’t know how to drive.
e.g. ¿Sabes bailar la salsa? Do you know how to salsa dance?

3) To say that you know something by heart:

e.g. Los estudiantes saben los verbos del presente. The students know the present tense verbs.

Conocer

1) To say that you are acquainted with a person:

e.g. ¿Conoces a María?Do you know Maria?

2) To say that you know a place:

e.g. No conocemos Madrid.We don’t know Madrid.

3) To say that you are familiar with something:

e.g. ¿Conoces la música de Malú?Are you familiar with Malú’s music?

 
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