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  5. "I know the boy."


"I know the boy."

March 30, 2013



When should the verb conoscere be used instead of sapere?


Think it like this; You can know a piece of information, but you can't really know a person, or a street, or anything that actually EXISTS. That sort of knowing is to italians about being familiar with them. You can KNOW a piece of information, but you can only be FAMILIAR about the existence of physical things or people.


Unfortunately there is not a precise rule! It is difficult to explain also for me. "sapere" is general, "conoscere" can be instead used for words/nouns that represent people. But not always. Usually, "sapere" is escorted by "chi (chi)", "cosa (what)", "quando (when)", "che (that)"; Example:

Io so chi... Io so che.... Io so quando.... etc.


I always learned that 'sapere' was for facts and really does mean 'to know'; conoscere is more 'i am familiar with', and is used for things like people, places, etc.

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