Savoir vs Connaitre: Difference and Comparison

Savoir and connaitre are verbs with different meanings, and to make things interesting, they also have two more overlapping meanings. Oh! Confused? Now, read the article and learn about this.

Both verbs mean to know, and they are irregular. French also distinguishes between two ways in which the speaker might know something, through the two verbs “savoir” and “connaître.”

Key Takeaways

  1. Savoir is used for knowledge of facts or skills, while Connaître is used for familiarity or acquaintance with people, places, or things.
  2. Savoir is used for specific knowledge, while Connaître is used for general knowledge.
  3. Savoir is used with verbs, while Connaître is used with nouns.

Savoir vs Connaitre

Savoir is a French verb which means ‘to know how to do something’. It is used in an abstract manner to acquire a deep meaning to get knowledge. Connaitre is also a French verb that means ‘to be familiar with something’. It is used in a concrete manner without looking in-depth for knowledge.

Savoir vs Connaitre

The word savoir basically means to understand. It’s said to be one of the foremost commonly used French verbs. It’s an irregular conjugation and covers different meanings in some cases.

Savoir may mean to understand a fact, to understand by memory, to understand the way to do something, and to understand.

Connaitre means “to know” in the sense of being acquainted with someone or something. Connaitre” is only up to the limit of knowing someone but not so well.

It also says that the familiarity phase with someone. Connaitre is an irregular verb used to manifest knowledge or familiarity.

For example, I know/am familiar with this heritage building.

Comparison Table

DefinitionSavoir means to get knowledge about something in-depth.
It is in an abstract way.
Connaitre means being familiar with the entity of something, but there is no deep knowledge of it.
It is in a concrete way.
UsageSavoir is applied with an infinitive verb. In such a case it means having the efficiency of doing something, knowing how to.
Savoir is applied by itself to answer a question.
Connaitre is ensued by a noun.
Connaitre is never used with a verb.
Example1) she has learned it, memorized it, she can play it.
2) she knows about it.
1) she knows this music piece exists, she has heard about it, she is familiar with it, but she cannot play it.
2) do you know Jacob? I am familiar with this.

What is Savoir?

Savoir is a French word that means “To know”, it’s very tricky where to use this word Savoir. Generally, it has a feature that tells that it’s abstract in such a way. In Infinitive tense. This verb Consists of special meanings.

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There is an expression where we can have a polite way of asking something or doing something. Also, in the past tense, This word has several meanings.

We can only use this verb when the verb is an infinitive. Savoir is an irregular verb.

This verb is also connected as the third group verb. This word expresses the facts of knowledge or reasons about such things. When we say it shows knowledge, that means in a specific way.

And this knowledge includes any information about any fact, data or anything. We need to know about the conjugated way of this verb.


What is Connaitre?

Connaitre, meaning “to know” or “to be conversant in,”. This word is very frequently used in French verbs.

Here are some conjugations of this verb; it does not contain any compound tense, it has some sort of auxiliary verb with the perfect participle.

‘Connaitre’ is an Irregular French ‘-er’ Verb. Connaître is that verb which irregular.

Here, we have some regular -er verbs and some irregular -er verbs, Which means the irregular group assembles into some important patterns around the verbs prendre, battre, mettre, rompre, and people that end with the basis word -craindre.

But connaître doesn’t fit into any of the above patterns. These are quite common and important verbs, so you actually do need to learn them so as to speak effectively in French.

Try performing one verb each day until you’ve mastered all of them.

Main Differences Between Savoir and Connaitre

  1. As a really rough rule of thumb, savoir relates more to things and connaître relates more to people, although there’s overlap on each side.
  2. The more you employ French, the more you will get pity the difference and won’t make the error of confusing these two verbs.
  3. When we need to express something we think we know, the verb to employ is savoir.
  4. This verb expresses your confidence in your talents; it is neither quantitative nor abstract, but it suggests that you know how to complete the task. In most circumstances, savoir is followed by an infinitive version of another verb.
  5. This is done to reflect the fact that you already know something. We also use savoir to identify something. Connaitre is a verb that must always be followed by a noun and cannot be used in any other way. It expresses the speaker’s firsthand knowledge of something, something he or she has directly encountered.
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Last Updated : 02 September, 2023

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16 thoughts on “Savoir vs Connaitre: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article presents a thorough comparison between Savoir and Connaître, addressing their definitions, usage, and even the distinctions in their conjugations. A commendable and illuminating read.

  2. While the detailed comparison is appreciated, the article’s tone was overly formal, which detracts from the engaging nature of the content.

  3. This article seems to have covered all the essential aspects of Savoir and Connaitre, providing an insightful and educational experience to readers.

  4. This article provided a clear and concise breakdown of the differences between Savoir and Connaitre. With such a comprehensive overview, it has certainly enhanced my understanding of these French verbs.

  5. While the article made several valid points, some of the explanations seemed overly complex and could be simplified for better understanding.


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