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Difference Between Saber and Conocer

Saber vs Conocer

“Saber” and “conocer” are two different verbs used in the Spanish language. Both the verbs saber and conocer are used in different contexts, and their usage depends upon the context you are referring to. These two verbs are interchangeable and refer to the idea “to know.”


“Saber” is the verb which is used to express knowledge or ignorance of a piece of information or a certain fact about something. Ignorance here means “saber” also expresses what you don’t know about a certain fact or about some information. For example, Antonio sabe donde esta Rosa. Which means, Antonio knows where Rosa is. When expressing ignorance, “saber” is used in the following way: Yo no se tu numero de telefono, which means I don’t know your telephone number.

“Saber” is also used to express the knowledge of a certain skill or the ignorance of a particular skill like swimming, drawing, etc. For such expressions, “saber” is used with the infinitive. For example, Antonio sabe conducir, which means, Antonio knows how to drive. When showing the ignorance of a particular skill, “saber” can be used in the following way: No se nadir muy bien, which means I don’t know how to swim.

“Saber” is used when someone knows something by heart or does not know something by heart. For example, Antonio sabe los verbos, which means, Antonio knows (by heart) the verbs, or when ignorance needs to be expressed, Ella no sabe la letra de esa cancion, which means, She doesn’t know the song (by heart).

“Conocer” is used when reference is made for a specific object, place, or person. When using it in the past tense, “conocer” refers to meeting someone for the very first time.

Conocer is the verb which is used to express knowledge or ignorance about a place, person, or object. Ignorance here means not being acquainted with. For example, Yo no conozco a Antonio, which means, I don’t know Antonio (not acquainted with Antonio). When acquaintance is expressed, it is used as follows: Maria conoce Madrid, which means, Maria knows or is acquainted with Madrid.

“Conocer” and “saber” are used according to context. When a subject or discipline are being mentioned, then “knowing” and “being familiar with” are expressed by using different verbs, for example: Maria no sabe nada de ingles, which means, Maria doesn’t know any English. Whereas, in the following sentence “conocer” is used: Maria conoce la literatura Espanola, which means, Maria is familiar with Spanish literature.


1.“Saber” is used to express knowledge or ignorance of a piece of information or a certain fact about something.

2.“Conocer” is used to express acquaintance or familiarity with an object, place, or person.

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