Conjugation: savoir and connaître
Hi guys! Bonjour à tous !
To follow up on last week's article on the verbs Avoir and Être (to have / to be), I thought it would be useful to go a little further and see the differences, uses, and tricky conjugations of the verbs Savoir and Connaître, which in English, are both translated as "to know". (or almost!).
Let's dive in!
1) Conjugation Savoir / Connaître
First, a little bit of conjugation, they both are irregular verbs after all...
You can download this wallpaper from the shop or by clicking on them and accessing my free wallpaper dropbox
2) When do we use "savoir":
The word "savoir" can refer to two things: the verb (to know) as well as the noun "le savoir" (the knowledge). It is important to remember that this verb is used when referring to some general subject that one is familiar with. How to know when to use savoir:
- You translate your sentence by "know how to"
=> Je sais cuisiner. = I know how to cook.
Here, it is crystal clear that you could never use "Je connais cuisiner." Just trust me on this one.
- You can change "know" by "can" and it still makes sense.
=> I know how to cook. = I can cook.
Je sais cuisiner. Je peux cuisiner.
- In 90% cases, it'll be followed by a verb at infinitive form.
- Je sais cuisiner, tu sais danser, nous savons parler français...
If not, it will be introducing a second proposition (that's a bit complex and I wouldn't call it "beginner level" but just so you know). = Je sais ce que tu aimes. = I know what you like.
3) When do we use Connaître:
Before we start: the verb "connaître" is one of the many affected by the French orthographic reform, which means that soon the use of the accent ^ on the "i" won't be mandatory. At the moment, it is used only at infinitive form and with the third person of singular (as seen on the picture, no it was not a mistake!)
Now, since we've since previously when to use "savoir", you can easily guess that "connaître" is used in all the other cases. Basically, use it when you are familiar about the topic:
- Je connais Jean.
Everytime you give someone's name or so you must use "connaître". Je connais le voisin (the neighbor), le pref (the teacher), the cashier, (le caissier) etc.
- Je connais cette chanson.
"Cette" is the feminine singular form of the demonstrative pronoun (equivalent of "this"). If you use a demonstrative, pair it with "connaître". Je connais ce chien (this dog), cette rue (this street), ces gens (these people) etc.
4) Compound Past
And to finish today's lesson, I want to share this new wallpaper including the conjugation.
It's often difficult to guess which verbs is used with each auxiliary. Unless you learn it, you can hardly guess (well you have a 50% chance to guess right anyway)
In this case, the verb "savoir" is paired with the auxiliary "avoir" and the verb "connaître" is paired with the auxiliary "être". Not using the proper auxiliary is a big no-no and your sentence won't make sense. I know slang is understood, but that kind of mistake won't. I hope I'm not being scary. Learn them together and you'll be fine!
That's it for today folks, I hope these will be useful!
Leave your suggestions of lessons below!