Conjugation of ‘Saber’

Common Spanish verb is highly irregular

cathedral-el-salvador.jpg
Sé que vamos a El Salvador. (I know we are going to El Salvador.).

Adalberto.H.Vega / Creative Commons.

Saber, a common Spanish verb usually meaning "to know" in the sense of having knowledge, is highly irregular. Both the stem and the endings can take unexpected forms.

Saber should not be confused with conocer, which also means "to know," but in the sense of being familiar with a person. Conocer also is conjugated irregularly

Irregular forms are shown below in boldface. Pronouns are shown for convenience and clarity; they often are omitted in everyday speech and writing.

Infinitive of Saber

saber (to know)

Gerund of Saber

sabiendo (knowing)

Participle of Saber

sabido (known)

Present indicative of Saber

(I know), tú sabes (you know), usted/él/ella sabe (you know, he/she knows), nosotros/as sabemos (we know), vosotros/as sabéis (you know), ustedes/ellos/ellas saben (you/they know)

Preterite Indicative of Saber

yo supe (I knew), tú supiste (you knew), usted/él/ella supo (you, he/she knew), nosotros/as supimos (we knew), vosotros/as supisteis (you knew), ustedes/ellos/ellas supieron (they knew)

Imperfect Indicative of Saber

yo sabía (I knew), tú sabías (you knew), usted/él/ella sabía (you/he/she knew), nosotros/as sabíamos (we knew), vosotros/as sabíais (you knew), ustedes/ellos/ellas sabían (you/they knew)

Future Indicative of Saber

yo sabré (I will know), tú sabrás (you will know), usted/él/ella sabrá (you/he/she will know), nosotros/as sabremos (we will know), vosotros/as sabréis (you will know), ustedes/ellos/ellas sabrán (they will know)

Conditional of Saber

yo sabría (I would know), tú sabrías (you would know), usted/él/ella sabría (you/he/she would know), nosotros/as sabríamos (we would know), vosotros/as sabríais (you would know), ustedes/ellos/ellas sabrían (you/they would know)

Present Subjunctive of Saber

que yo sepa (that I know), que tú sepas (that you know), que usted/él/ella sepa (that you/he/she know), que nosotros/as sepamos (that we know), que vosotros/as sepáis (that you know), que ustedes/ellos/ellas sepan (that you/they know)

Imperfect Subjunctive of Saber

que yo supiera/supiese (that I knew), que tú supieras/supieses (that you knew), que usted/él/ella supiera/supiese (that you/he/she knew), que nosotros/as supiéramos/supiésemos (that we knew), que vosotros/as supierais/supieseis (that you knew), que ustedes/ellos/ellas supieran/supiesen (that you/they knew)

Imperative of Saber

sabe tú (know), no sepas tú (don't know), sepa usted (know), sepamos nosotros/as (let us know), sabed vosotros/as (know), no sepáis vosotros/as (don't know), sepan ustedes (know)

Present Perfect Indicative of Saber

yo he sabido, tú has sabido, usted/él/ella ha sabido, nosotros/as hemos sabido, vosotros habéis sabido, ustedes/ellos/ellas han sabido (I have known, you have known, she has known, etc.)

Pluperfect (Past Perfect Indicative of Saber)

yo había sabido, tú había sabido, usted/él/ella había sabido, nosotros/as habíamos sabido, vosotros habíais sabido, ustedes/ellos/ellas habían sabido (that I had known, that you had known, that he had known, etc.)

Future Perfect Indicative of Saber

yo habré sabido, tú habrás sabido, usted/él/ella habrá sabido, nosotros/as habremos sabido, vosotros habréis sabido, ustedes/ellos/ellas habrán sabido (I will have known, you will have known, she will have known, etc.)

Present Perfect Subjunctive of Saber

yo haya sabido, tú hayas sabido, usted/él/ella haya sabido, nosotros/as hayamos sabido, vosotros hayáis sabido, ustedes/ellos/ellas hayan sabido (that I have known, that you have known, that he has known, etc.)

Past Perfect Subjunctive of Saber

yo hubiera/hubiese sabido, tú hubieras/hubieses sabido, usted/él/ella hubiera/hubieses sabido, nosotros/as hubiéramos/hubiésemos sabido, vosotros hubierais/hubieseis sabido, ustedes/ellos/ellas hubieran/hubiesen sabido (that I had known, that you had known, that she had known, etc.)

Conditional Perfect of Saber

yo habría sabido, tú habrías sabido, usted/él/ella habría sabido, nosotros/as habríamos sabido, vosotros habríais sabido, ustedes/ellos/ellas habrían sabido (I would have known, you would have known, he would have known, etc.)

Progressive Tenses of Saber

The many progressive tenses use the appropriate form estar followed by the gerundsabiendo. It is not common, however, to use saber in a progressive form.

Sample Sentences Using Forms of Saber

Quiero saber lo que piensas. (I want to know what you're thinking. Infinitive.)

No que hacer. (I don't know what to do. Present tense.)

¿Cuántos años tenías cuando supiste la siguiente información? (How old were you when you learned the following information? Note that in the preterite tense, which is used here, conocer often means "to learn" or "to come to know.")

Estábamos sorprendidos porque no sabíamos lo que había pasado. (We were surprised because we didn't know what had happened.)

Hemos sabido por mucho tiempo que el ser humano posee el poder transformar la Tierra en formas a la vez terribles y majestuosas. (We have known for a long time that the human being has the power to transform the Earth in ways both terrible and majestic at the same time. Present perfect.)

Sin muchos consejos, no sabríamos lo que debemos estudiar. (Without a lot of advice, we wouldn't know what we should study.)

Cuando veas las fotos, sabrás la verdad. (When you see the photos, you will know the truth. Future.)

No me importa que Roxana sepa que soy su benefactor. (It doesn't matter that Roxana knows I'm her benefactor. Present subjunctive.)

Podría estar roto por semanas y no lo habrían sabido. (It could be broken for weeks and they would not have known. Conditional perfect.)