Difference Between Savoir and Connaitre

Savoir vs Connaitre

Knowing or to know is something that can be expressed in French with the help of two verbs savoir and connataire. This is something that can be very confusing for those trying to learn French as they do not know the contexts in which one of the two French verbs has to be used. However, the two verbs have differences that will be highlighted in this article, to make it easier for the readers to choose the right one when speaking.


Whenever we need to express something that we think we know, savoir is the verb to be used. This verb indicates the self-belief you have in your abilities as it is not measurable and abstract, but it tells you that you know how to do the thing. In most cases, savoir is followed by another verb in a form that is infinitive. This is done to reflect the fact of knowing. One can also use savoir to indicate the fact that he knows something. Savoir is seen commonly in statements that are interrogative in nature such as these.

Do you know where she is?

Do you know what time the show starts?


Connaitre is a verb that is always followed by a noun, and there is no other way to make use of this verb. It reflects the act of knowing something personally, something that the speaker has personally experienced. So, if you are talking about a Hollywood celebrity, use this verb only if you have personally met the star or the celebrity and not in a general sense as French use Connaitre only when they have personal experience with a place, a thing, or a person. You can use Connaitre if you have heard a song before or are familiar with the song. Similarly, you can use the verb before the name of a person if you are familiar with him, or you have known him for some time.

What is the difference between Savoir and Connaitre?

• If you know something (a skill or an object) mentally only, you must use savoir as the verb of knowing, but when you are personally familiar with an object, place, or a person, it is better to make use of Connaitre.

• To express the fact of knowing, or the lack of it, it is better to make use of savoir.

• Savoir is seen being used in an interrogative manner.

• Connaitre is followed by a noun, always