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Dear French learners,

Welcome to this French lesson! šŸ‡«šŸ‡·

It is sometimes difficult for foreigners to know when to use the two French verbs "Savoir" and "ConnaƮtre". In English, for example, these two verbs both mean "To know." For instance, "Connaissez-vous cette personne?" translates to "Do you know this person?" and "Savez-vous ce qu'il est possible de faire?" means "Do you know what we can do?"

Basically, "savoir" is to know something or know how to do something, while "connaƮtre" is to be familiar or acquainted with someone or something (or someplace). So, for example, you could say "je connais New York" (I'm familiar with NY) versus "je sais que New York est une grande ville" (I know NY is a big city). The first has to do with personal familiarity, while the second is a fact you know.

In this article, we will teach you in which situations to use these two verbs. After mastering this lesson, you might also be interested in exploring other related topics, such as French Vocabulary about School and Studies, French Vocabulary - Martial Arts, and Resources to further expand your French vocabulary.

Bonne chance et amusez-vous bien ! šŸŽ‰

Savoir[edit | edit source]

To know how to do something[edit | edit source]

In French, to say "I know how to do something", you use "je sais" + verb infinitive.

To know who, what or where[edit | edit source]

  • Je ne sais pas ce que tu veux dire = I donā€™t know what you want to say
  • Il sais oĆ¹ je suis = He knows where I am
  • Elle sait oĆ¹ le park se trouve = She knows where the park is located
  • Je sais d'oĆ¹ il vient = I know where he comes from

Useful expressions[edit | edit source]

Je n'en sais rien[edit | edit source]

It means "I have no idea".

Tu sais quoi ?[edit | edit source]

This is a familiar expression meaning ā€œyou know what?ā€. Tu sais quoi ? Jā€™en ai marre ! = You know what? Iā€™m fed up with it!

Qui sait[edit | edit source]

It means "who knows?".

  • Il y est dĆ©jĆ  peut ĆŖtre allĆ©, qui sait ? = Maybe, he has already been there, who knows?
Un je ne sais quoi[edit | edit source]

This expression is used to say ā€œI donā€™t know whatā€.

  • Elle avait un certain je ne sais quoi qui m'a tout de suite plu = She had a certain ā€œI donā€™t know whatā€ I liked right away

ConnaƮtre[edit | edit source]

Know someone or something personally[edit | edit source]

The meaning of ā€œconnaĆ®treā€ is closer to "be familiar withā€ or "know someone or something personally".


  • Tu connais ce bar ? = Are you familiar with this bar?
  • Est-ce que vous connaissez le prix des loyers Ć  Marseille ? = Do you know the rents in Marseille?

Useful expressions[edit | edit source]

ConnaƮtre la musique[edit | edit source]

This expression means that you are used to something because you've already experienced it many times.

  • Merci, ne m'en parle pas, je connais la musique = Don't tell me, I know!

ConnaƮtre sur le bout des doigts[edit | edit source]

it means you know it perfectly, "like the back of your hand"

  • Tu es prĆŖt pour le test ? Oui je connais le sujet sur le bout des doigts = Are you ready for the test? Yes, I know the topic like the back of my hand.

ConnaƮtre par coeur[edit | edit source]

It means ā€œto know something by heartā€.

  • Je connais ma leƧon par coeur = I know my lesson by heart

At last, if you have a question about the difference between "savoir" and "connaĆ®tre", post it here !

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