"Do you know the answer?"
Translation:Ĉu vi scias la respondon?
I might be wrong but from what I gathered, Konas is if ye are familiar with something, like: I know her. Mi konas sxin. But Scias is if ye are aware of a fact or an answer. I know the answer is green. Mi scias la respondo estas verda. But I don't know what the actual answer to the question ye just asked is. This is just what I've gleaned.
I realize this is grammatically correct but it seems to me knowing an answer (i.e. a fact) would be far better translated with scii. Am I missing something?
Me too, In my native language I would say "scii" and in the other languages I study too.
In Esperanto, when ye start a question off with cxu, ye just say the sentence form of the question, except with cxu at the beginning. For example. "Does he see her?" "Cxu li vidas sxin?" "He sees her." "Li vidas sxin." In English, and i'm sure in a lot of other languages too, they would conjugate the verb "to do", but in Esperanto, think of it as just a sentence with cxu at the beginning.
It seems counter-intuitive since it is a fact that you know, but think of it instead as "are you familiar with/do you know the nature of the answer?" (The French "savoir" and "connaître" are equivalent to this dichotomy and reframing it like this helped me to figure them out.)
(Not a hard and fast rule but if there is no conjugated verb in the subordinate clause the correct verb should almost always be koni)
Unfortunately I don't have French as a frame of reference. Could you maybe explain with a couple examples? And I'm not sure what you mean by a "conjugated verb." Any verb used as a verb in a sentence is conjugated (inflected)... Or do you mean excluding "verb-like" stems not used as verbs or participles?
The examples on this site (http://a-complete-grammar-of-esperanto.t.ebooks2ebooks.com/49.html) might help clear things up. To paraphrase: koni takes a direct object and cannot be followed by a clause or infinitive, whereas scii is often followed by a clause that contains another subject-verb cluster.
"Cxu vi konas tiun personon?" - Do you know that person? We use koni here because it is asking whether you are familiar with an individual. Note the direct object.
"Mi ne scias cxu li sxatas ilin." - I don't know whether (if) he likes them. Here scii is correct because the following clause contains "li sxatas" (and the sentence would not make sense as "I am not familiar with whether he likes them").
Hopefully that helps? It is hard to explain in English because we don't have an equivalent. Several of my French students also had a hard time wrapping their heads around the concept, but it gets easier with time. It may be helpful to find other examples in Esperanto texts and decipher why each verb is used in that particular context.