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Video:Learn Spanish: How to Conjugate Saber in Preterite Tense

with Milo De Prieto

Learn how to conjugate saber in preterite tense so that you can properly use this Spanish verb. Here are tips for conjugating saber in preterite tense.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn Spanish: How to Conjugate Saber in Preterite Tense

Hola, I'm Milo for About.com and today we're talking about conjugating the verb saber, to know, in the preterite tense or simple past. You may know there is also another word, conocer, which also means to know. The difference is that conocer is for people or to be familiar with something, while saber is for knowledge or facts.

Conjugation of Saber in Preterite Tense

While saber follows some helpful and recognizable patterns in the preterite tense, it is not regular.

  • yo supe: I knew
  • tú supiste: you (informal) knew
  • usted supo: you (formal) knew / él/ella supo: he, she knew
  • nosotros supimos: we knew
  • vosotros supisteis: you (plural Spain informal) knew
  • ustedes supieron: you (plural Latin America, Spain formal) knew / ellos/ellas supieron: they knew

Tips for Conjugating Saber in Preterite Tense

There are three main changes here from the regular way of making an -er verb into the preterite tense. The biggest is that saber changes the "ab" to a "up." The second is in the first person singular the ending is -e rather than -o. And the third is that in the usted and el/ella form the ending is a simple -o. Also notice the lack of accents. Remember, because the subject is embedded in the verb, you can drop it.

Examples of Saber in Preterite Tense in Sentences

Supe que el mintió. I knew that he lied.

¿Supiste acerca la fiesta sorpresa, no? You knew about the surprise party, didn't you?

Usted supo todos los nombres de los emperadores de Roma. You knew all the names of the Roman emperors.

Supo que mi discurso tenía sentido. He knew that my argument made sense.

Supimos que se iban a casar en una isla maravillosa. We knew that they would go get married on a wonderful island.

More Examples of Saber in Preterite Tense

¿Supisteis que Colón nunca llegó a América del Norte? Did you know that Columbus never got to North America?

Supieron que ella estaba actuando todo el tiempo. You knew that she was acting the whole time.

Supieron que no ganarían la partida de ajedrez. They knew that they would not win the chess match.

Continue practicing and soon you will be speaking with confidence in no time. For more information on Spanish, check us out at About.com.

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