"I don't know."
Sapere indicates basic factual information:
- sai dov'è la stazione? do you know here the station is?
- sapete nuotare? do you know how to swim?
- non so dove sono le chiavi! I don't know where the keys are!
Conoscere is for people and places, a more abstract concept:
- non conosco i vostri cugini/I don't know your cousins
- lui conosce un bar a Parigi/he knows a bar in Paris
- chi conosce l'inglese? who knows English?
mukkapazza thanks for the help but I'm still a bit confused.. based on the definitions of each your provided; asking "do you know where the station is?" would be considered just as abstract as "he knows a bar in paris".. Like i feel your examples for each verb were too similar to the other.. I would appreciate it if you could give some more examples. Thank you
I believe that the difference is that the example of the train tells that he knows where it is, but not much else. The example of the bar tells that he knows the place rather well (been there, known the staff, etc.). I always use the example of knowing someone. When you know of someone, you would use sapere. When you've been formally introduced, then you know them more and use conoscere. They're almost interchangeable, but there's that hidden detail of depth in each.
Conosco can also be translated as "I am familiar with", so it's used with people and places you have met/been to. Ex. "Conosco Roma" = "I am familiar with Rome"
Sapere is for factual knowledge. So sentences like "I know where the party is" or "I know what day it is" would use sapere.
Conoscere and sapere are used in certain situations but the both mean the same word in English. Non conosco would mean I dont know, but in the sense that, you dont know someone or something. For example Non conosco Maria. Non conosco "Romeo and Juliet" If your just saying, I don't know, Sapere: Non so. Or Non lo so. (I dont know it)