SAVOIR - TO KNOW

0
 
â
à
ç
ê
é
è
ë
î
ï
ô
û
ù
ü

I registered!

Je me suis inscrit(e)!

Register and we say more interesting stuff!

Inscris-toi et on te dira des choses super intéressantes!

Learn French and listen to monkeys!

Tu veux apprendre le français et écouter des singes savants!

Stop reading this! Register!

Arrête de lire ça! Inscris-toi tout de suite!

No sense of humour? Don't register!

Aucun sens de l'humour? Ne t'inscris pas chez nous!

I don't like cheese!

Je n'aime pas le fromage!

WELCOME! 
SAVOIR - FRENCH VERB CONJUGATIONS - PRESENT
SAVOIR is an irregular verb 
présent de l'indicatif
negative?
jesais[je sais]
tusais[tu sais]
ilsait[il sait]
noussavons[nous savons]
voussavez[vous savez]
ilssavent[ils savent]
présent de l'indicatif
positive?
jenesaispas [je ne sais pas]
tunesaispas [tu ne sais pas]
ilnesaitpas [il ne sait pas]
nousnesavonspas [nous ne savons pas]
vousnesavezpas [vous ne savez pas]
ilsnesaventpas [ils ne savent pas]
[SAVOIR]
SAVOIR
TO KNOW
It means that it does not follow any regular pattern; it’s in a league of its own. Hence; we call it irregular. SAVOIR belongs to the 3rd group. In the 3rd group, all the verbs are irregular. Good news: only 25% of all French verbs are irregular. So relax!
PRÉSENT DE L'INDICATIF

This tense is used most of the time. It indicates an action which is happening at the present time or a habitual action.

HOW TO USE SAVOIR: (SAVOIR EXAMPLES)
- GENERAL USE -
definitionsexample use 
to know howIl sait très bien parler français  
to be aware,  to realise,  to knowJe sais qu'elle veut partir d'ici.  
to knowTu sais qui je suis?  
to know yourself to be,  to be aware ofIl se sait dans des difficultés matrimoniales  
- INFORMAL USE -
definitionsexample useexpression
to knowSavoir pertinemment que Je sais pertinemment que tu ne viendras pas 
to knowUn chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien 
- FORMAL USE -
definitionsexample useexpression
to knowIl ne veut rien savoir Non. Il ne veut rien savoir; il ne paiera pas 
to knowNe plus savoir où se mettre Ils m'ont regardé et je ne savais plus où me mettre 
to knowReste à savoir Reste à savoir s'il signera le contrat 
to knowSavoir à quoi s'en tenir Ils savent à quoi s'en tenir 
to knowSavoir par cœur Je sais par cœur son discours sur la démocratie 
to knowFaire savoir Faites-lui savoir que je serai en retard 
to knowSavoir s'y prendre avec Elle sait s'y prendre avec les enfants 
to knowNe pas savoir à quel saint se vouer Je ne sais plus à quel saint me vouer 
to knowNe pas savoir où donner de la tête Je suis si occupé que je ne sais plus où donner de la tête 
to knowNe pas savoir sur quel pied danser Avec lui, je ne sais pas sur quel pied danser 
WHAT'S A TENSE ? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB SAVOIR
What can you do with the present tense ? 
passé récent
negative?
jeviensdesavoir
tuviensdesavoir
ilvientdesavoir
nousvenonsdesavoir
vousvenezdesavoir
ilsviennentdesavoir
passé récent
positive?
jenevienspasdesavoir 
tunevienspasdesavoir 
ilnevientpasdesavoir 
nousnevenonspasdesavoir 
vousnevenezpasdesavoir 
ilsneviennentpasdesavoir 
futur proche
negative?
jevaissavoir
tuvassavoir
ilvasavoir
nousallonssavoir
vousallezsavoir
ilsvontsavoir
futur proche
positive?
jenevaispassavoir 
tunevaspassavoir 
ilnevapassavoir 
nousn'allonspassavoir 
vousn'allezpassavoir 
ilsnevontpassavoir 
impératif
negative?
sache
sachons
sachez
impératif
positive?
 
nesachepas 
 
nesachonspas 
nesachezpas 
 
Well, with the present tense you can describe actions which are occurring now, in the present. But you can do many other things with it too. Look below and you will see that, in French, you can use the present tense combined with other features in such a way that it means something totally different.
IMPÉRATIF

The French imperative (the command tense) of 1st group verbs is very easy to learn. It is used to express command or a request. It's actually the normal present tense but a shorter version.

It is formed
by dropping the "I, you, he, she, we, you, they", of the present tense. Then you erase nearly all the persons but 3; the "you" singular, the "you" plural and the "we" plural.

FUTUR PROCHE

The "futur proche" (near future) is made of the present tense plus another verb. If you look at the conjugation you'll see another verb: ALLER.

The NEAR FUTURE
is therefore expressed by ALLER in the present tense plus the infinitive (the raw verb) of the verb action you are talking about. If you want to speak in future, you just have to learn ALLER (3rd group, irregular).

PASSÉ RÉCENT

The passé recent (recent past) is made of the present tense plus another verb. If you look at the conjugation you'll see another verb: VENIR DE.

The past tense
is therefore expressed by VENIR DE in the present tense plus the infinitive (the raw verb) of the verb action you are talking about. If you want to speak in past, you just have to learn VENIR (3rd group, irregular).

THE 3 FRENCH VERB GROUPS 
SAVOIR - FRENCH VERB CONJUGATIONS
What ? Another present tense ? 
le conditionnel présent
negative?
jesaurais
tusaurais
ilsaurait
noussaurions
voussauriez
ilssauraient
le conditionnel présent
positive?
jenesauraispas 
tunesauraispas 
ilnesauraitpas 
nousnesaurionspas 
vousnesauriezpas 
ilsnesauraientpas 
What? A second present tense? I don't understand; I thought there was only one present tense! Help!
LE CONDITIONNEL PRÉSENT

The conditional is used in French to express: Courtesy. If you want to be polite in French, use this mood: Je voudrais du café, s'il vous plaît. I would like some coffee, please. An obligation or duty: Nous devrions partir pour prendre le dernier métro. We should leave if we want to get the last train.

Remember
: The French verb DEVOIR + Infinitive is the exact translation for SHOULD: We should leave if we want to catch the last train. The French verb POUVOIR is the exact translation for COULD or WOULD BE ABLE TO: Nous pourrions venir après le déjeuner. We would be able to come after lunch.

WHAT'S A VERB ? 
REGISTER NOW!

... What's a verb? A verb is doing word; it's an action like to TO EAT, TO SPEAK, TO LEARN, TO CONTROL, TO BE etc. You could argue that TO BE, is not an action. And I'll answer that TO DO NOTHING is also an action. Did you get that? ...

Similar French Verbs
connaître  |  posséder
Contrary French Verbs
ignorer
WHAT'S A MOOD ? 
WHAT'S AN INFINITIVE ? 
REGISTER NOW!

... An infinitive is the raw verb. It means "not expressing tense". For instance, in the sentence: "I go to bed early", the infinitive for the verb "I go" is: TO GO. So easy! In English, you get the infinitive adding TO before the verb in the sentence. Infinitives are everywhere. Look at this example: I want to leave early tonight. Yes, after a verb use with a person (I, you, he, she, etc.); in our example "I want", you'll always have an infinitive, in our example: to leave. ...

FRENCH VERB SAVOIR - THE INDICATIVE MOOD
The indicative mood – Recap. 
présent de l'indicatif
negative?
jesais[je sais]
tusais[tu sais]
ilsait[il sait]
noussavons[nous savons]
voussavez[vous savez]
ilssavent[ils savent]
présent de l'indicatif
positive?
jenesaispas [je ne sais pas]
tunesaispas [tu ne sais pas]
ilnesaitpas [il ne sait pas]
nousnesavonspas [nous ne savons pas]
vousnesavezpas [vous ne savez pas]
ilsnesaventpas [ils ne savent pas]
The easiest mood! If you want to merely make a statement or ask a question about anything really, you'll use the most common mood, the Indicative Mood. In short, this is the mood we use most of the time; the present, the future, the imperfect you normally use are indicative.
PRÉSENT DE L'INDICATIF

This tense is used most of the time. It indicates an action which is happening at the present time or a habitual action.

SAVOIR - FRENCH VERB CONJUGATIONS - VERB SAVOIR
futur
negative?
jesaurai
tusauras
ilsaura
noussaurons
voussaurez
ilssauront
futur
positive?
jenesauraipas 
tunesauraspas 
ilnesaurapas 
nousnesauronspas 
vousnesaurezpas 
ilsnesaurontpas 
imparfait de l'indicatif
negative?
jesavais
tusavais
ilsavait
noussavions
voussaviez
ilssavaient
imparfait de l'indicatif
positive?
jenesavaispas 
tunesavaispas 
ilnesavaitpas 
nousnesavionspas 
vousnesaviezpas 
ilsnesavaientpas 
passé simple
negative?
jesus
tusus
ilsut
noussûmes
voussûtes
ilssurent
passé simple
positive?
jenesuspas 
tunesuspas 
ilnesutpas 
nousnesûmespas 
vousnesûtespas 
ilsnesurentpas 
PASSÉ SIMPLE

Good news! This past tense is not used in conversional French. Only literary people use it in formal writing, for example, in a novel or a history book. The truth is that this tense is nearly dead. So… You can forget it for the moment (unless your proficiency level is very very high)

IMPARFAIT DE L'INDICATIF

This is a past tense. It is use to indicate repetition in the past or a habit in the past: Nous allions au restaurant tous les jours. We used to go to the restaurant every day.

It is also
the tense you must use when describing an action in the past: Il était heureux quand je l'ai vu. He was happy when I saw him.

FUTUR

This tense expresses an action which will take place at some time in the future. Nous irons en Chine l'hiver prochain. We will go to China next summer

WHAT'S A COMPOUND TENSE ? 
PASSÉ COMPOSÉ
More about The indicative mood! 
passé composé
negative?
j'aisu[j'ai su]
tuassu[tu as su]
ilasu[il a su]
nousavonssu[nous avons su]
vousavezsu[vous avez su]
ilsontsu[ils ont su]
passé composé
positive?
jen'aipassu [je n'ai pas su]
tun'aspassu [tu n'as pas su]
iln'apassu [il n'a pas su]
nousn'avonspassu [nous n'avons pas su]
vousn'avezpassu [vous n'avez pas su]
ilsn'ontpassu [ils n'ont pas su]
In French there are 7 compound tenses. But only 4 of them belong to the INDICATIVE.
PASSÉ COMPOSÉ

The Past Indefinite or Compound Past is used in everyday French. It's the informal past tense. It's used when people want to talk about facts, about actions which are finished in the past.

If you want
to describe your day at school or at the office, for example, you must use the Compound Past. There is no other way to do it.

If you want
to know what a compound tense is, go to the tab on the left hand side which says: "What's a compound tense?". Clever!?

TIP 
REGISTER NOW!

... TIP: verb conjugation only occurs in two general areas: using person (I, you, he, she, etc.) and for tenses (Present, past, future, etc.). Conjugation for person happens when the subject changes; it depends on who is acting: I, you, he, she, etc. For example, we have I learn, you learn, s/he learns, etc. Using tense (past, present, future, etc.), remember that all verb conjugation starts with an infinitive verb (Put simple: an infinitive is the to form of a verb: to have, to be, to learn, etc.) ...

WHAT'S A PAST PARTICIPLE ? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB SAVOIR - VERB SAVOIR
Tip 
plus-que-parfait de l'indicatif
negative?
j'avaissu
tuavaissu
ilavaitsu
nousavionssu
vousaviezsu
ilsavaientsu
plus-que-parfait de l'indicatif
positive?
jen'avaispassu 
tun'avaispassu 
iln'avaitpassu 
nousn'avionspassu 
vousn'aviezpassu 
ilsn'avaientpassu 
passé antérieur de l'indicatif
negative?
j'eussu
tueussu
ileutsu
nouseûmessu
vouseûtessu
ilseurentsu
passé antérieur de l'indicatif
positive?
jen'euspassu 
tun'euspassu 
iln'eutpassu 
nousn'eûmespassu 
vousn'eûtespassu 
ilsn'eurentpassu 
futur antérieur
negative?
j'auraisu
tuaurassu
ilaurasu
nousauronssu
vousaurezsu
ilsaurontsu
futur antérieur
positive?
jen'auraipassu 
tun'auraspassu 
iln'aurapassu 
nousn'auronspassu 
vousn'aurezpassu 
ilsn'aurontpassu 
It's really easy to understand compound tenses when you realise that:
*
The second part is always the same (It's like the –ed form in English; it's always the same in compound tenses).
*
But, the first part is not always in present tense. Remember the Compound past? J'ai préparé des spaghetti. (Literally: I have prepared spaghetti). This 1st part is in the present tense!

Now
, Look at the following tense: the pluperfect (le Plus-que-parfait):
J'avais préparé des spaghetti.
(I had prepared spaghetti). "I had" is not a present tense: it's the imperfect of TO HAVE. Thus, The pluperfect in English is identical to French; the first part of the tense is in the past.

Now
, look at this tense in English (tricky one): "I will have prepared spaghetti". The 1st part is "will have" (It's a future – The tense is called Future perfect and yes, it's English). In French, we will say: J'aurai préparé des spaghetti ("j'aurai" is TO HAVE in the future).
FUTUR ANTÉRIEUR

The Future Perfect or Future Anterior, is an interesting tense. In French and English, it is used to express an action which will happen in the future before another future action.

In English
we commonly use Shall have or will have + the Past participle.

See
the following example: When she calls me tomorrow, I shall have finished my report (Quand elle appellera demain, j'aurai fini mon rapport).

PASSÉ ANTÉRIEUR DE L'INDICATIF

Past Anterior. This tense is not very used in French; it's a literary tense (writing only). So, unless you are a writer and/or you want to read Balzac, you can put it aside for the moment.

PLUS-QUE-PARFAIT DE L'INDICATIF

The pluperfect or Past Perfect Indicative is used to express an action which happened in the past before another past action.

Tricky?
No. Look at the following example: "I had seen the movie he told us about." "I had seen" is the Pluperfect. You might never have seen this structure because in English, it's not really used. But it's perfectly correct. First someone told us about a movie (Past tense), second, I had seen it before (Action of "seeing" before the action of "telling"). Both tense are in the Past.

WHAT'S A PRESENT PARTICIPLE? 
FRENCH VERB SAVOIR - THE CONDITIONAL MOOD
The Conditional Mood 
le conditionnel présent
negative?
jesaurais
tusaurais
ilsaurait
noussaurions
voussauriez
ilssauraient
le conditionnel présent
positive?
jenesauraispas 
tunesauraispas 
ilnesauraitpas 
nousnesaurionspas 
vousnesauriezpas 
ilsnesauraientpas 
It refers to actions / events which would, should or could happen in the future if certain conditions were met. In short, when an English speaker wants to use WOULD, SHOULD or COULD; she / he uses the conditional mood. Look at the following simple tense in conditional:
THE CONDITIONAL AND JOURNALISM

The conditional is often used in journalistic language. When journalists want to state something as an "alleged" fact, or doesn't wish to state something definitely true they use the conditional.

It is
also used in French as "could" and "would" are in English to make a request more polite: Je voudrais réserver une table pour deux, s'il vous plaît. (I would like to book a table for two, please.)

WHAT'S A TRANSITIVE VERB? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB SAVOIR
The conditional's compound tense! 
le conditionnel passé
negative?
j'auraissu
tuauraissu
ilauraitsu
nousaurionssu
vousauriezsu
ilsauraientsu
le conditionnel passé
positive?
jen'auraispassu 
tun'auraispassu 
iln'auraitpassu 
nousn'aurionspassu 
vousn'auriezpassu 
ilsn'auraientpassu 
The conditional has only one compound tense; the Conditional Perfect (le Conditionnel Passé).
LE CONDITIONNEL PASSÉ

The Conditional Perfect. Is used to express an action or an event that you would have done if something else had been possible. "Would have" could be translated by the French conditional "j'aurais".

"Done"
is the past participle of to do (fait).

WHAT IS A SUBORDINATE CLAUSE? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB SAVOIR - VERB SAVOIR
The Subjunctive mood 
présent du subjonctif
negative?
quejesache
quetusaches
qu'ilsache
quenoussachions
quevoussachiez
qu'ilssachent
présent du subjonctif
positive?
quejenesachepas
quetunesachespas
qu'ilnesachepas
quenousnesachionspas
quevousnesachiezpas
qu'ilsnesachentpas
imparfait du subjonctif
negative?
quejesusse
quetususses
qu'ilsût
quenoussussions
quevoussussiez
qu'ilssussent
imparfait du subjonctif
positive?
quejenesussepas
quetunesussespas
qu'ilnesûtpas
quenousnesussionspas
quevousnesussiezpas
qu'ilsnesussentpas
The Subjunctive mood is used in French much more than in English (Actually, most English speakers don't know that it even exists!). But the Subjunctive is quite commonly used in English to express an idea contrary to a fact: "If I were you, I would learn a second language". In French, it is a very common tense. You'll use it if you want to express a wish, a fear, a doubt or a supposition.
IMPARFAIT DU SUBJONCTIF

The Imperfect subjunctive is not in use anymore. You'll find it in literature and old poetry. This tense is also rarely used in English.

PRÉSENT DU SUBJONCTIF

The subjunctive is used mainly in subordinate clause. It means that in the majority of cases where the subjunctive is used, there is no other choice; it is required after some specific expression. These expression express fear, doubt, supposition and wish.

Hang
on a minute! What does subordinate mean? See the tab on the left hand side of this page.

WHAT'S AN INTRANSITIVE VERB? 
FRENCH VERB SAVOIR - THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD
The subjunctive mood and compound tenses 
passé du subjonctif
negative?
quej'aiesu
quetuaiessu
qu'ilaitsu
quenousayonssu
quevousayezsu
qu'ilsaientsu
passé du subjonctif
positive?
quejen'aiepassu
quetun'aiespassu
qu'iln'aitpassu
quenousn'ayonspassu
quevousn'ayezpassu
qu'ilsn'aientpassu
plus-que-parfait du subjonctif
negative?
quej'eussesu
quetueussessu
qu'ileûtsu
quenouseussionssu
quevouseussiezsu
qu'ilseussentsu
plus-que-parfait du subjonctif
positive?
quejen'eussepassu
quetun'eussespassu
qu'iln'eûtpassu
quenousn'eussionspassu
quevousn'eussiezpassu
qu'ilsn'eussentpassu
spe The subjunctive mood has also compound tenses. The following ones are not very common in every day French conversation. They are actually quite rare.
PLUS-QUE-PARFAIT DU SUBJONCTIF

The Pluperfect or Past Perfect Subjunctive is rarely used in French and in English.

This tense
is avoided in conversational informal writing and speaking. It is useful if you read a lot of French literature from the 19th century.

PASSÉ DU SUBJONCTIF

The past or perfect subjunctive expresses a past action which is in relation to the present time.

This tense
is very rarely used in English but quite common in French. Il est probable qu'elle ait téléphoné (It's probable she may have called)

All animated images supplied by ©AnimationFactory

FRENCHASSISTANT.COM™
Learn French Online! ...with Monkeys!

Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited other than the following: you may print or download to a local hard disk extracts for your personal and non-commercial use only. You may copy the content to individual third parties for their personal use, but only if you acknowledge the website as the source of the material. You may not, except with our express permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or electronic form of electronic retrieval system.

FEEDBACK
SEND!
THANK YOU!

This site uses Cookies!
Cookies are round baked biscuits that some people like to eat to gain body mass. Cookies are also small browser text files that we use to give you a better website experience.

Refer to our Cookies Policy for more information.
This site also uses Bananas!
Bananas are an edible fruit produced by flowering plants in the genus musa. The Banana is native to tropical Indomalaya and Australia, but is domestically grown in over 100 other countries.

We use bananas to feed our monkeys and for creating humorous "fruit and veg" art!

NOW IN COLOR!
Timer
Running!
STOP!