Conocer Conjugation: Command & Present Progressive

Instructor: Elena Sacramento Lechado

Elena has a PhD in linguistics from University of La Laguna (Spain). Currently, she teaches Spanish as a foreign language and creates teaching resources.

Are you ready to learn something new? The Spanish verb 'conocer' means 'to know' or 'to get to know something, a person, or a place.' In this lesson we'll examine its conjugation in the imperative and the present progressive through contextual examples.

¡Conozcamos Algo Nuevo!

Let's get to know something new! Which city or country would you like to get to know on your next trip? Are you getting to know someone special at the moment? These two contexts require the use of the verb conocer (pronounced: koh-noh-SEHR) in Spanish, which means 'to know' or 'to get to know.'

Keep reading to learn how to conjugate this tense in the imperative and the present progressive. They'll be useful for giving advice or talking about recent experiences with native speakers. We'll see how to use these verbal forms with Nuria and her sister Carla, who are traveling to Chile for a university exchange program.

The Spanish verb conocer means to know or to get to know.
conocer

Giving Commands with the Verb Conocer

In Spanish, we use the imperative to give affirmative orders or commands. So, you'll need this tense in a context in which you give someone advice, for example recommending that they get to know a person or a place. Also, the form corresponding to nosotros/as is used to make suggestions.

Conocer is an irregular verb. Therefore, to form its imperative we'll use the stem conozc- for all subject pronouns, EXCEPT FOR and vosotros/as, which keep the same stem as the infinitive (conoc-).

VERB: conocer (koh-noh-SEHR) - to know/to get to know

Subject
Pronoun
Imperative Pronunciation Translation
conoce (koh-NOH-seh) (you) know/
get to know
usted conozca (koh-NOHS-kah) (you - formal) know/
get to know
nosotros/
nosotras
conozcamos (koh-nohs-KAH-mohs) (we) let's know/
get to know
vosotros/
vosotras
conoced (koh-noh-SEHD) (you all) know/
get to know
ustedes conozcan (koh-NOHS-kahn) (you all) know/
get to know

Note: Only Spaniards use the form vosotros/as when addressing more than one person in informal situations. In the rest of the Spanish-speaking countries, everyone uses the form ustedes in all settings.

Examples

Nuria and Carla are ready to start their adventure in Santiago, the capital of Chile. María, their friend from Madrid (Spain), has already been to Chile and she gives them some recommendations.

  • Conoced bien la ciudad. (Get to know the city well.) Hay algunos lugares geniales que no aparecen en las guías. (There are some great places that don't appear in guide books.)
  • Nuria, conoce a gente nueva y diviértete. (Nuria, get to know new people and have fun.) Los chilenos son muy simpáticos y amigables. (Chileans are very nice and friendly.)

Once in Chile, Juan (one of the fellow students) gives them some advice too.

Juan: Conozcan otras ciudades también. (Get to know (you both) other cities as well.) Les recomiendo Valparaíso. (I recommend Valparaíso.)

Nuria: ¡Sí, Carla, conozcamos Valparaíso este fin de semana! (Yes, Carla, let's get to know Valparaíso this weekend!)

Translation: Let us know Valparaiso!
conocer

Notes:

  1. When referring to people, use the structure: conocer + a + person. Example: conocer a gente (to get to know people).
  2. María is from Spain, so she uses the form corresponding to vosotros/as. Everywhere else, speakers use the form for ustedes.

Present Progressive of Conocer

We use the present progressive to talk about actions that are taking place at the moment of speaking or that have been happening lately.

To form the present progressive in Spanish:

  1. Conjugate the verb estar in the present.
  2. Add the present participle of conocer, which is regular: conociendo.

Since the second part doesn't change, you only need to learn the first one. Take a look at the result:

VERB: conocer (koh-noh-SEHR) - to know/to get to know

Subject
Pronoun
Present
Progressive
Pronunciation Translation
yo estoy conociendo (ehs-TOY
koh-noh-SYEHN-doh)
I am knowing/
getting to know
estás conociendo (ehs-TAHS
koh-noh-SYEHN-doh)
you are knowing/
getting to know
él/ella
usted
está conociendo (ehs-TAH
koh-noh-SYEHN-doh)
he/she is knowing/
getting to know -
you (formal) are knowing/
getting to know
nosotros/
nosotras
estamos conociendo (ehs-TAH-mohs
koh-noh-SYEHN-doh)
we are knowing/
getting to know
vosotros/
vosotras
estáis conociendo (ehs-TIYS
koh-noh-SYEHN-doh)
you all are knowing/
getting to know
ellos/ellas
ustedes
están conociendo (ehs-TAHN
koh-noh-SYEHN-doh)
they are knowing/
getting to know
you all are knowing/
getting to know

Sample Conversation

After two weeks, Nuria and María catch up on Skype. There's so much to talk about!

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