Lesson Objectives:In this lesson, we will learn the proper use for two verbs in Spanish -- "saber" and "conocer" -- that both mean "to know," but are used in very different ways. We will also learn about a grammatical construct called the "Personal A". Finally, we will expand our vocabulary with some more weather-related words.
Vocabulary:los kilómetros - the kilometers
las millas - the miles
el meteorólogo - the meteorologist or weatherman
la probabilidad - the probability
la temperatura máxima - the high temperature (on a weather forecast, the high of the day)
la temperatura mínima - the low temperature
los grados - the degrees
el porcentaje - the percentage
el promedio - the average
el pronóstico del tiempo - the weather forecast
fuerte - strong
por ciento - percent
seco - dry
siempre - always
el informe - the report
el aguacero - the downpour
In Spanish, there are two main verbs that mean "to know".
'Saber' and 'Conocer'.
'Saber' is used when expressing that you know a fact or how to do something.
'Conocer', on the other hand, is more like "to be familiar with". You use it when expressing familiarity with a place or event. You also use it to express whether or not you know someone personally.
Some examples will make this distinction clearer.
Ella sabe hablar espanol. She knows how to speak spanish.
Yo conozco a Pedro. I know Pedro. Expressing personal familiarity with a person requires 'conocer'-you cannot use saber.
Ellos saben la verdad. They know the truth.
Usted conoce Argentina. You are familiar with Argentina.
yo sé la dirección de la casa de él. I know the address of his house.
As you can see, 'conocer' tends to be used to express familiarity with a person or place. 'Saber' is used to express knowledge.
In Spanish, when the object of an action is a person, then you need to put 'a' in front of the person. This is known in Spanish as the 'a personal.'
Usted conoce a Martin? Do you know Martin? The object is Martin--a person--so the 'a personal' is needed.
Yo conozco este país. I am familiar with this country. The object of the verb is 'country'; so the 'a' personal is not needed.
Quiero ver a mi padre. I want to see my father. The object is 'mi padre', a person, so we use the 'a' personal.
Note that if 'a' is followed by the definite article 'el', then the two merge to form 'al'.
For example, Ellos conocen al profesor. They know the professor. The 'al' here represents 'a el professor.'