Savoir French Conjugation

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July 3, 2021

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Savoir is a commonly used verb, but have you ever been unsure on which conjugation to use? Well, you will find the different French conjugations for this verb below.

Savoir French Conjugation

Definition

The French verb savoir translates to to know in English.

It is not the only verb that translates into “to know”. When referring to knowing a person, instead of a fact, you would conjugate the verb connaître. Connaître means “to be familiar with” as well as “to know someone”.

Savoir is an irregular ir verb, which means that it won’t follow the same rules as the other ir verbs when being conjugated in French.


Present Tense Savoir Conjugation

In all likelihood, the present tense is probably the most commonly used tense in regard to talking in French about knowing something. So, I would recommend you learn this conjugation first.

Subject PronounSavoirEnglish
JeSaisI know
TuSaisYou know
Il/ElleSaitHe/she knows
NousSavonsWe know
VousSavezYou know
Ils/EllesSaventThey know

As you can see, while the bottom three conjugations are typical for what you might expect when conjugating a regular ir verb, the top three aren’t.

Examples

  • Je ne sais pas - (I don’t know)
  • Tu sais comment compter - (You know how to count)
  • Comment savez-vous? - (How do you know?)


Imperfect Tense of Savoir French Conjugation

The imperfect tense is one of the past tenses for savoir that is commonly used when conjugating the verb in French.

Subject PronounSavoirEnglish
JeSavaisI knew
TuSavaisYou knew
Il/ElleSavaitHe/she knew
NousSavionsWe knew
VousSaviezYou knew
Ils/EllesSavaientThey knew

This conjugation of savoir in French is fairly straightforward as the stem of the verb remains the same while the ending changes. The ending of the first three conjugations is also the same as they would be for the present tense, so it will be easier to memorise.

Example

  • Nous savions que - (We knew that)


Future Tense Conjugation of Savoir

The future tense of savoir is used to say what you will know.

Subject PronounSavoirEnglish
JeSauraisI will know
TuSaurasYou will know
Il/ElleSauraHe/she will know
NousSauronsWe will know
VousSaurezYou will know
Ils/EllesSaurontThey will know

This conjugation will possibly be the trickiest to learn because while the suffix of the verb is the same as you would expect for a regular verb, the beginning of the verb is quite different from what would be considered the stem.

Example

  • Je saurais la réponse demain - (I will know the answer tomorrow)


Conditional Tense Savoir Conjugation in French

The conditional tense is another future tense that you will be able to use when conjugating Savoir in French.

Subject PronounSavoirEnglish
JeSauraisI will know
TuSauraisYou will know
Il/ElleSauraitHe/she will know
NousSaurionsWe will know
VousSauriezYou will know
Ils/EllesSauraientThey will know

Once you have learnt the future tense of the verb, the conditional won’t seem as tricky because they are very similar in their spellings and pronunciation. However, these conjugations also follow a similar pattern to the regular ir verbs, even if the stem of the word has changed slightly to create them.


Passé Composé Savoir Conjugation in French

The passé composé uses both the verb avoir (to have) and the past participle of savoir (su).   

Subject PronounSavoirEnglish
J’Ai suI have known
TuAs suYou have known
Il/ElleA suHe/she had known
NousAvons suWe have known
VousAvez suYou have known
Ils/EllesOnt suThey had known


Subjunctive Tense French Conjugation of Savoir

In English, the subjunctive isn’t used very much anymore, it is to describe the subject’s attitude. However, in French, it is a lot more common and is used when there are two different people involved in a sentence.

Subject PronounSavoirEnglish
Que jeSacheThat I know of
Que tuSachesThat you know
Qu’il/elleSacheThat he/she knows
Que nousSachionsThat we know
Que vousSachiezThat you know
Qu’ils/ellesSachentThat they know

When using the subjunctive, as with most of the other tenses shown in this article, the verb savoir changes quite a lot when being conjugated in French. The only part of the stem that remains is the “sa” before the suffix is added to create the correct conjugation.

As you can see in this form of the conjugation, “que” is added before the subject pronoun.


The Pluperfect Tense French Savoir Conjugation

Subject PronounSavoirEnglish
J’Avais SuI
TuAvais SuYou
Il/ElleAvait SuHe/She
NousAvions SuWe
VousAviez SuYou
Ils/EllesAvaient SuThey


Le Passé Historique Conjugation of the verb Savoir

Subject PronounSavoirEnglish
JeSusI
TuSusYou
Il/ElleSutHe/She
NousSûmesWe
VousSûtesYou
Ils/EllesSurentThey


Passé Antérieur Tense Savoir Conjugation

Subject PronounSavoirEnglish
J’Eus SuI
TuEus SuYou
Il/ElleEut SuHe/She
NousEûmes SuWe
VousEûtes SuYou
Ils/EllesEurent SuThey


Futur Antérieur Tense Savoir Conjugation

Subject PronounSavoirEnglish
J’Aurai SuI
TuAuras SuYou
Il/ElleAura SuHe/She
NousAurons SuWe
VousAurez SuYou
Ils/EllesAuront SuThey


The Near Future Tense Conjugation of Savoir

Subject PronounSavoirEnglish
JeVais SavoirI
TuVas SavoirYou
Il/ElleVa SavoirHe/She
NousAllons SavoirWe
VousAllez SavoirYou
Ils/EllesVont SavoirThey


Conclusion

Savoir is one of the more complicated verbs to conjugate, but once you have learnt the most common tenses, you will be able to conjugate the verb in French confidently. It is a very common verb to come across, so it is definitely worth learning.

Other verb conjugations articles can be found here:

About the author 

Sarah grew up in Northampton, England. She loves to travel, write, and explore because of the ability to immerse herself in a different culture and potentially learn a new skill. Sarah uses her writing to share these experiences with other people to help them choose a location for their holiday or learn the skills for themselves.

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