"They know where we live."
Translation:Ils savent où nous vivons.
Connaître-mainly used for people (je connais Alex)
Savoir-mainly used to say you know a fact/how to do something (je sais que tu es italien/je sais nager)
If you do a search for something like 'difference between connaître and savoir' you'll find more info that explains this more in depth.
It is better to not simply post a link, but rather to give a brief outline of the website, since url change, and sometimes one does not want to open links.
Anyway, the difference is that "vivre" is "to live" in a biological sense, that is, to be alive and not dead.
"Habiter" on the other hand is "to reside", as in to live somewhere, like in Europe, or in a castle.
As said elsewhere, connaitre cannot be used with clauses that are prefaced by any conjunction, including: que, quand, quel, pourquoi, où, a quelle heure, etc. All those clauses are governed by savoir.
Disregard what I said about vivre and habiter: vivre simply is a superset of the senses of habiter: vivre can be used to indicate where one lives.
nous vivons means live in both senses...being alive and inhabiting. nous habitons is only inhabiting.
où is an interrogative pronoun...not a person or place. So even though it is referring to a place, the word that follows it is not a person or place. thus the use of savoir over connaitre.
Non, "vivons" correspond au pronom "nous" pas à "on"; par contre c'est correct de dire "ils savent où on vit" ; le "on", est impersonnel et représente il /elle.
In French, on/we is treated as third person singular. You can spend a lot of time trying to figure out why but it is simpler just to remember that it is a rule.
I had that question also. I don't quite understand the post above with the explanation in French but northernguy's explanation will do for now. Thanks to both.
If it helps, you can think of on as being a we that refers to an undefined group. It is a single group that potentially includes everybody. Therefore only one group, thus third person singular.
Nous refers to a defined group which by it's nature suggests that there is another group of people who are not in the defined group. Therefore two or more groups, thus first person plural.
This is offered as a framework to demystify the use of on. It definitely is not a detailed examination of any deep grammar, possible exceptions etc. behind the French use of on attracting third person singular constructions.
LIke I say, it is probably simpler just to remember on = third person singular. If only everything in French had such a simple rule.
Is it not most simple if one just thinks of "on" as "one"?
Then conjugating any regular English verb will clearly show that it is in the third person singular;
\" I walk, you walk, he/ she walks, one walks/ ..."
This of course is assuming that one is a native speaker of English, and so one can naturally 'feel' what the correct conjugation is.
That is a good approach as long as you keep in your forethought it means we.
I'm not exactly sure what you are trying to say, but if I read you correctly, you are incorrect.
"One" is the generic formal pronoun, and does not mean "we", that is, it is not the first person plural pronoun.
One says, "on ferme la porte" which in English is strictly "one closes the door".
It could be thought of as being similar to "somebody", an unknown person, so "somebody closes the door". You do not know who closed the door, only that it has been closed, and it is not alive, so somebody must have done it, hence, one did it.
In addition, on is an informal replacement for "we," "you," "they," "someone," or "people in general."
On va sortir ce soir. We're going out tonight.
Alors les enfants, que veut-on faire ? OK kids, what do you want to do?
On dit que ce resto est bon. They say that this restaurant is good.
On a trouvé mon portefeuille. Someone found my wallet.
On est fou ! People are crazy!
On ne sait jamais You never know
My own thought on the subject is that on refers to an undefined group which may be so small as to be only one person or so large as to include everybody. That is because it is undefined.
The English term one used the way you are talking about also refers to an undefined group and means we. One closes the door doesn't mean the door mysteriously closes under some set of circumstances. It means that everyone closes the door under that set of circumstances. We don't know how many people are subject to those circumstances so we leave it undefined.
English we refers to a defined group. We close the door means that we close it but others do not.
If a speaker says one closes the door and it is pointed out someone else does not, the speaker will sniff and say something like ....well I guess I was wrong... If a speaker says we close the door and it is pointed out that someone else does not, the speaker will say ..well, of course, I don't mean everybody....
While the English use of one to refer to an undefined group is very formal and quite rare in conversation, the French use of on (= English formal one) is very common.
While on is third person singular in form it definitely does not mean one person.
connaitre is used only with people and places. savoir is used with phrases following it...
Taken verbatim from "Basic Conservational French - Fourth Edition": Savoir and connaitre both mean "to know". Savoir, however, has a much broader use: it governs clauses introduced by que, quand, quel, pourquoi, où, a quelle heurre, etc. When it has a noun or pronoun object, it is used to refer chiefly to dates, time, names, age, prices, etc. Connaitre always takes a noun or pronoun object and is used to refer to persons, places, books, fields of learning, works of art, etc. It does not govern clauses beginning with que.
Or another way to remember is that the use of savoir boils down to two meanings: 1) 'to know' in the sense of 'to possess knowledge about' 2) 'to know' in the sense 'to know how to do something'.
In this example knowing where we live is case 1).
Ou = or
Quand = when
But the example calls for where so:
où = where (note the accent mark over the u)
What, contextually, is wrong with "Ils savent ou chez nous" ? (I know the accent is missing from "ou")
I can't quite put my finger on it, but this certainly doesn't seem correct. I've certainly never hear "chez nous" used like that.
I think you need to think of "chez nous" more abstractly as "our home", which is not necessiarly a physical place, as opposed to "our house", which is a tengible asset.
"our home" could be a door-step, or a piece of carpet on someone else's floor, for example. I may also say "My home is Europe" when I get fustrated and homesick while living in the US.
So your sentence is more like "they know where our home". Hopefully someone Francophone can add a more concrete reason why it is incorrect.
I translated this way, but would it be a mistake saying “Ils savent que où nous vivons”?