“Sapere” – Conjugation of the Italian Verb

In this article, we’ll look into the conjugation of the verb “sapere” (to know) in Italian.

Conjugating “Sapere”

When conjugating verbs in Italian, it’s essential to consider the subject pronouns and the tense of the sentence. “Sapere” is an irregular verb, meaning it does not follow the regular conjugation patterns of most verbs. Here’s how “sapere” conjugates in the present tense:

  • Io so (I know)
  • Tu sai (You know, singular informal)
  • Lui/lei sa (He/she knows)
  • Noi sappiamo (We know)
  • Voi sapete (You know, plural informal)
  • Loro sanno (They know)

Usage of “Sapere”

The verb “sapere” is used to express knowledge or information about facts, skills, or how to do something. It’s often paired with an infinitive verb to indicate what someone knows how to do. Here are some examples:

  • So suonare la chitarra. (I know how to play the guitar.)
  • Sai cucinare? (Do you know how to cook?)
  • Lei sa parlare francese. (She knows how to speak French.)

Other Tenses and Forms

“Sapere” also conjugates irregularly in other tenses and moods. Here are some examples:

Past Tense (Passato Prossimo)

  • Ho saputo (I knew)
  • Hai saputo (You knew)
  • Ha saputo (He/she knew)
  • Abbiamo saputo (We knew)
  • Avete saputo (You knew)
  • Hanno saputo (They knew)

Imperative Mood

  • Sappi (Know, singular informal)
  • Sappia (Know, singular formal)
  • Sappiamo (Let’s know)
  • Sapete (Know, plural)

Examples of Usage

Here are some examples of how the verb “sapere” can be used in sentences:

  1. Facts or Information:
    • So che oggi è il tuo compleanno. (I know that today is your birthday.)
    • Non sapevo che Maria è malata. (I didn’t know that Maria is sick.)
  2. Skills or Abilities:
    • Sai suonare il pianoforte? (Do you know how to play the piano?)
    • Lei sa nuotare molto bene. (She knows how to swim very well.)
  3. How to Do Something:
    • Non so cucinare la pasta al dente. (I don’t know how to cook pasta al dente.)
    • Sai come arrivare alla stazione? (Do you know how to get to the station?)
  4. Asking for Information:
    • Sai a che ora parte il treno? (Do you know what time the train leaves?)
    • Scusa, sai dov’è il bagno? (Excuse me, do you know where the bathroom is?)

These examples illustrate the versatility of the verb “sapere” in expressing knowledge, information, skills, and abilities in Italian.