Spanish A1/A2: The Difference between “Conocer” & “Saber”

Since the English translation of these two words is “to know”, there is some confusion in the use. Let’s take a look at their specific difference


  1. Meet (+person)
    No conozco a ella.
  2. Recognize (+person)
    Los niños conocen a su madre
  3. Recognize (+abstract term)
    Nadie conoce esa palabra.
  4. Be acquainted with (+place)
    Conocemos este país.
  5. Know (+ knowledge about something)
    No conozco la clave del éxito.


  1. Know (+something)
    Nadie sabe el asunto
  2. Often with interrogative words (qué, quién, dónde, cuándo, cuál, por qué)
    No sé qué le pasa.
  3. Know how to do (+Skill/inf.)
    1.Sabes nadar. 2. Yo sé hablar español.
  4. Know (something about a person)
    No sé nada de Paulo.
    (I don’t know anything about Paulo)


Quiere conocer la verdad.
(He wants to understand the truth thoroughly.)
Quiere saber la verdad.
(He just wants to know the “fact” and doesn’t want to dig into it.)

No conoce iPhone.
(He does not know iPhone.)
No sabe usar iPhone. (He doesn’t know how to use iPhone).
The semantics of the two sentences are only slightly different, both indicate that he doesn’t know how to use iPhone.

No conocemos la capital de España.
(We are not familiar with/ have not been to the capital of Spain)
No sabemos cuál es la capital de España.
(We don’t know which city is the capital of Spain.)