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  5. "Do you know where the exit i…

"Do you know where the exit is?"

Translation:Tu sais où est la sortie ?

April 14, 2020



Can someone explain why this is 'savoir' rather than 'connaitre'? I learnt from previous lessons that we use savoir when someone knows how to do something eg speak a language, use a knife etc. Knowing where an exit is, isn't a 'how to' knowledge


I think the rule you are mentioning is an oversimplification.
In general you don't use connaître but rather savoir before a clause inroduced by a relative pronoun or a question word:
     Je ne sais pas où il est.
     Je ne sais pas qui c'est.
     Je ne sais pas pourquoi il est parti.
     Je ne sais pas quand il revient.

You could express the same ideas with connaître:

     Je ne connais pas sa position (odd but possible)
     Je ne connais pas son nom.
     Je ne connais pas la cause de son départ.
     Je ne connais pas la date de son retour.

So this has also to do with the structure of your sentence as well as the kind of thing you know.

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