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

Conjugated Forms of Saber

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

Infinitive (infinitivo): saber (to know)

Gerund (gerundio): sabiendo (knowing)

Participle (participio): sabido (known)

Present indicative (presente del indicativo): yo (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 (pretérito): 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 (imperfecto del indicativo): 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 (futuro): 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 (condicional): 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 (presente del subjuntivo): 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 (imperfecto del subjuntivo): 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 (imperativo): 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)

Other tenses: The perfect tenses are formed by adding the past participle (sabido) to a conjugated form of haber, and the progressive tenses are formed by adding the gerund (sabiendo) to a conjugated form of estar. Irregular conjugated forms are shown in boldface.

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.)