"Elles savent nager."

Translation:They know how to swim.

March 7, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Is it wrong to translate" they know swimming"???



Savoir means “to know” in the sense of knowing how to do something or knowing something by heart, through mental ability or through a learning process. Savoir expresses the knowledge of facts or reasons about certain things therefore:

Je sais danser → I know how to dance.
Elles savent nager → They know how to swim.

Below is quoted from a French post on the WordRef forum:

  • Only savoir can introduce a verb in the infinitive or a subordinate clause, never connaître (e.g., Je sais nager, Je sais que tu es en colère, Je sais quand il sera là).
  • Only connaître is used when talking about people, not savoir (e.g., Je connais ton frère).

  • Savoir typically means:
    --- to be skilled in some art or profession (e.g., Je sais peindre, Je sais fabriquer des chaises.)
    --- to be capable of, to have the power or talent of doing something (e.g., Je sais compter jusqu'à cent.)
    --- to be aware of something (e.g., Je sais que le ciel est bleu.)
    --- to hold something in one's memory so as to be able to repeat it (e.g., Je sais ma poésie.)

  • Connaître typically means:
    --- to have gained knowledge or skill in some domain (e.g., Je connais bien mon métier.)
    --- to have knowledge or understanding of something (e.g., Je connais le sens du mot « désespoir », Je connais la réponse à cette question.)
    --- to be informed about the existence or value of something (e.g., Je connais cette chanson, Je connais la valeur du savoir.)
    --- to know someone (e.g., Je connais Marc, Je connais les gens qui habitent ici.)

Source is here on WordRef

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