Saber and conocer-how and when to use them Saber and conocer-how and when to use them is a blog regarding these two words that are used in very different moments but that might be a bit confusing as both are translated as “to know” in English.

The blog today started, like most of them, with just one question from one of my student, is it “saber or conocer” here? I have a realization that I should write about it to help you Spanish learners to get this clear, as it is not that difficult but a bit confusing as in English both, saber and conocer means “to know”, so if you have troubles with saber and conocer-how and when to use them, this is for you.

As well you will get a trick at the end of the blog as you will find a little quiz in which you could check if you got saber and conocer  right 🙂  So let’s dive into it!



saber and conocer-how and when to use them


Although saber and conocer both means “to know” we will need to agree that there are different types of knowledge out there, aren’t there?

So depending on the type of knowledge of better said the info we are talking about we will use one of the other, let’s start with


If you do not feel like reading you can watch the video lesson here 🙂



We use saber when we talk about



a)A skill, something we have learnt, por ejemplo

Yo y me hermana sabemos tocar el piano- “My sister and I know how to play the piano”

b)How to do something, but it is so similar, as most of the time you know how to do something because you have learnt first

Ellos saben cocinar –“They know how to cook”

2-A fact

Sé donde vive Carlos-“I know where Carlos lives”

No sabemos cuando se acabará el petróleo-“We don’t know when we will run out of oil”


Yo no lo sé, pero Marta sabe cuando es la fecha del exámen– “I do not know but Marta knows when is the examen date”


#note-we can use saberse, as a reflexive verbs when we talk about something we have learnt by heart like

-Me sé el nombre de todos los ríos de España- “I know the name of all the rivers in Spain”

-María se sabe las tablas de multiplicar-“María has learnt by heart the multiplication tables”


We use conocer to talk about things, place or people you are familiar with. It is used when you have been in contacted with the thing we speak about.



¿Conoces algún sitio en internet para aprender español?- “Do you know any website to learn Spanish?”


El otro día conocí a la nueva novia de Julio- “The other day I met Juliio’s new girlfriend”


¿Conoces México?-“Do you know Mexico?”



sometimes both verbs are accepted depending on what we mean like


Saber-me sé algunas canciones españolasàas we use saber here it means I know the lyrics, I have learnt them

Conocer- Conozco algunas canciones españolasà when we use conocer means I have been in touch with them, I probably have listened them but I do not know the lyrics. The relation is less strong than when I use saber.


Right amigos, that is all, as you see there is nothing difficult,, there are just few small things you need to keep in mind but if no one has told you them before is impossible to get clear on the meaning and use, now you have made it until the end of the post, I want to give you something fun as a reward so here you are the link to the quiz where you can find if you really got this “saber and conocer” right 🙂




I hope you enjoyed the blog, now it is your turn to get out there and practice, practice and practice, if you are going to do the quiz I would love if you can share your aha’s in t he comment below and tell me what you though, or if you have any questions, I am here to help you-you know that!- ¡Tú sabes eso! 🙂

As always I would love to hear from you, so your homework for today is….you guessed it! Leave a commentwith a sentences using saber or conocer, extra prize if you leave a sentences using both of them 🙂

Now it is time for me to leave, and leave you practicing 🙂

I will write to you soon


¡Buen día!-Good day!



One Response to “Saber and conocer-how and when to use them”

  1. Margaret Nahmias

    Interesting. I thought the opposite would have been true Conocer, would have a denoted a stronger familiarty with something than saber.


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