Connaitre v savoir ... knowledge of 'facts'.

StewartC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Connaitre v savoir ... knowledge of 'facts'.

The two sentences below look almost exactly the same, in both 'they' know a fact (what time the shop closes).

Presumably, then, its just that in the 2nd sentence the verb is followed by a noun and that alone determins that 'conaitre' should be used, (and it's nothing to do with 'they' knowing a fact)?

Ils savent à quelle heure le magasin ferme. They know what time the shop closes.

Ils connaissent l'horaire de fermeture du magasin.
They know the shop closing time.

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Stewart,

Normally the difference between 'Savoir' and 'Connaître' is simplified in the following way:

Savoir = to know facts

Connaître to know people and places

But as the lesson points out it is a bit more complicated than this.

Ils savent que le magasin ferme à vingt heures = They know (that) the shop closes at eight p.m.

Ils connaissent l'heure de fermeture du magasin = They know the shop closing time 

Indeed the difference here although similar in meaning is, 

Savoirque (or ce que, ce qui ...) is followed by another sentence. (You cannot say,  je connais que ...)

e.g. Je sais ce qu'il va me dire = I know what he is going to tell me

Nous savons ce qu'ils préfèrent = We know what they like best

Connaître  is followed by an article or a noun 

e.g. Il connaît bien Marie/Paris He knows Marie/Paris well

Vous connaîssez les Champs Elysées ? = Do you know the Champs Elysées?

Hope this helps!

StewartC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thank you Cécile ... yes I'm 'with it' now.
DinaA2Kwiziq community member

Hi Stewart.

I have encountered recently a very good explanation, that has closed the questions "connaitre-savoir" for me, hope this will be helpful. 

Whenerver there is a subject (or a noun) following "to know" we use connaitre. Je connais l'horaire (noun) de....

In rest of cases we use savoir, e.g Ils savent a quelle heure (an expression starting with a preposition)

You can check all of the above examples, and find out that this simple rule works very well. It's been given by a French tutor to his Russian audience somewhere in internet, and i'm so thankful! 

Connaitre v savoir ... knowledge of 'facts'.

The two sentences below look almost exactly the same, in both 'they' know a fact (what time the shop closes).

Presumably, then, its just that in the 2nd sentence the verb is followed by a noun and that alone determins that 'conaitre' should be used, (and it's nothing to do with 'they' knowing a fact)?

Ils savent à quelle heure le magasin ferme. They know what time the shop closes.

Ils connaissent l'horaire de fermeture du magasin.
They know the shop closing time.

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