interesting, in Hebrew there are also two words which are used as "to know", one for facts and for familiarity. And when using the facts word on a person also would mean it in the biblical sense. Actually, the bible (at least old testimony) is originally written in Hebrew and this expression is used there for someone sleeps with someone :) e.g. (simplified) genesis 4 begins with "ha adam YADA et java ishto" (read it with Spanish pronunciation) meaning "the man made love to Eve, his wife". yada=knew
The "a" here is the personal a:
No, both verbs take direct objects. The difference is that direct objects used with "conocer" are usually places/people that you know/are familiar with, while "saber" is used with facts/knowledge.
Thank you! Question-if you say you "know" an author, but not personally, which word would you use? For example, you might say, "I know Sartre," in English this can mean you know his works, not that you know him personally. So how would you say this in Spanish? Or would you not state it in this way at all? Any reply from anyone who knows (for certain) would be appreciated.
Creer (creo) = to believe : says about what you assume irrelevant of what are the facts. Conocer (another word RECONOCER) = to know : when you know a person as in recognize them. Saber = to know : when you know it as a fact, be aware of. Correct me if wrong as I am still learning. Hope this helps you!
True. And I always find it easier to think of it as Conocer means To be familiar with and Saber means To know. You can conocer persons and places, but to use saber with a location (I know my city) would be like saying I know every single rock on every street, or something overly dramatic like that. It prevented me from using it incorrectly before it was automatic. Now it is obvious that I can be familiar with a city but not know it by heart.
The direct object is the noun or pronoun that receives the action of the verb. In the following sentences, the direct objects are underlined.
Mike hit the ball. George calls Mary. He calls her.
In Spanish, when the direct object is a person, it is preceded by the preposition “a.” This word has no English translation.
Jorge llama a María. Jorge calls María.
From the perspective of the English speaker, the personal “a” appears to be an extra word. From the perspective of the Spanish speaker, the personal “a” is required, and to not use it is a serious error.
Without the A personal, if John hits Andy you could write: John golpea Andy, Golpea Andy John, Golpea John Andy, Andy golpea John. You would literally have no idea who hit whom. Spanish is so flexible.
With the a personal, stick an a in front of whoever is getting hit and it becomes clear.
I think "know of" was put there in attempt to show the difference between "conocer" and "saber". In English, it is more common to say just "know": I know him, I know this guy. "Know" is also used in situations like "I know that you learn Spanish" - in such cases Spanish uses "saber".
It's just something you have to remember.
Personal "a" has nothing to do with closeness when it is used for people. It is always used for people and also for pets. See here http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/personal_a.htm (there are some exceptions).
If you translate this sentence directly, it would be "yo conozco el enfermero", however, the personal "a" is needed for this sentence because the verb is being directed at a person (http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/personal_a.htm). Because of that, the sentence then becomes "yo conozco a el enfermero", but take note that anytime that "a" and "el" are next you each other, they must be contracted to "al", it's not choice, and that's where the "al" comes from.
Yes, "conocer" can mean to be familiar with something, but it still typically is translated as "to know". "To be familiar"=estar familiarizado
I am not sure; I wrote "I meet the nurse" which was also marked as wrong. However I don't think you are being fair to DL - it is not their fault that there are two meanings for a particular word! We just have to learn the difference. It may make you happy to know that in the preterite "conocer" can only mean "to meet"; a different tense is used for it to mean "knew".
In the real world, you would know by looking at them.
If someone is talking to you about the nurse, you can tell the gender of the nurse if they say "enfermero" (male) or "enfermera" (female).
If you don't know their gender I believe you go with the masculine form (enfermero), which is also considered the neutral form.
Em, the question cannot have both options simultaneously :-) But if you translate from English into Spanish, both "al enfermero" and "a la enfermera" are correct if there is no context and we don't know the actual sex of the nurse.
English just does not show the sex in the name of the profession. Suppose we were in a hospital waiting for someone and a male nurse passed by. You happen to know him, so you say "I know the nurse". You will hardly say "I know the male nurse", right? It is obvious he is male, we just saw him. But in Spanish you would say "Yo conozco al enfermero" and it will sound natural. If it were a female nurse, you'll still say "I know the nurse" in English, but "Yo conozco a la enfermera" in Spanish.
And, just in case:
a + el = al
a + la = a la
You need a personal "a" here in Spanish: http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/personal_a.htm
In reply to kc_kennylau: Learning any second language that you were not exposed to as a child, I'd imagine, would be confusing, at least at first. I think that is what hannah15lee meant anyway. I agree though, English can be very difficult to learn for a number of reasons, one being that the English vowels have a variation of sounds.