Conocer Conjugation: Imperfect & Past Participle

Instructor: Maria Elena Knolle Cano

Maria Elena has taught Spanish and German to learners of all levels in Europe, Asia and Australia and has a Master's degree in Cultural Studies and Communication.

In this lesson, we will get to know more about the verb ''conocer'' ( (get to) know, meet, learn, recognize) by learning all about its imperfect conjugations as well as its past participle, as well as reviewing their meanings.

Getting To Know Conocer

Are you someone who has been in touch with your grandparents or elders once in regularly? If that's the case, you probably know that elderly people have an incredible amount of conocimiento ('knowledge') to share!

Conocer cosas ('to learn about things') is an important part of growth and expansion in life. So is the ability to listen! To conocer ('get to know') the imperfect tense of conocer, we will learn the imperfect forms of conocer and then listen to what Señora Caracol, a ninety-five year old lady from Salamanca, Spain, has to say.

La gente mayor tiene mucho conocimiento = older people have a lot of knowledge
older woman smiling

Imperfect Tense Conjugations Of Conocer

The imperfect tense is always used when actions described were habitual in the past or form the background of a story.

As usual, conjugations are formed by combining the stem of the infinitive verb, in this case conocer, with a specific imperfect tense ending. Take a look:

Pronoun Verb Pronunciation Translation
Yo conocía koh-noh-THEE-ah I knew, met, learned
conocías koh-noh-THEE-ahs You knew, met, learned
Él, ella, Usted conocía koh-noh-THEE-ah He, she, you(formal) knew, met, learned
Nosotros, nosotras conocíamos koh-noh-THEE-ah-mohs We (male, female) knew, met, learned
Vosotros, vosotras conocíais koh-noh-THEE-iys You (male, female, plural) knew, met, learned
Ellos, ellas, Ustedes conocían koh-noh-THEE-ahn They(male, female), you (formal, plural) knew, met, learned

Imperfect Tense Example Monologue

Señora Caracol: Hola jóvenes. ('Hello young people.') Hoy os cuento un poco de mi pasado: Conocía mucha gente importante cuando tenía vuestra edad. ('Today I will tell you a bit about my past: I knew a lot of important people when I was your age.')

Tenía una amiga llamada Carola: Ella conocía a todo el mundo en Salamanca. ('I had a friend called Carola: She knew everyone in Salamanca.')

Tú a quien conocías cuando eras niño? ('Whom did you know when you were a child?') Nosotras, Carola y yo, conocíamos a unos jóvenes músicos rusos. (We, Carola and I, got to know some young Russian musicians.') Nos escapábamos a menudo de casa para encontrarnos con ellos. ('We often escaped our homes to meet up with them.').

Vosotros conocíais gente famosa cuando erais pequeños? ('Did you get to know famous people when you were little?')

Mis padres nos conocían muy bien. ('My parents knew us very well.') Nos dejaron escapar de vez en cuando para que luego cedieramos a sus ordenes en cuanto a los estudios. ('They let us escape once in a while so that we would occasionally give in to their orders concerning our studies.')

Uno de los chicos rusos=one of the Russian boys
young musician

How many different conjugations of conocer were you able to distinguish on this little journey to the past of Señora Caracol?

Past Participle Of Conocer

As you will already have noticed, it's all about the past today- in nostalgic retrospection like with Señora Caracol, but also in very practical ways. The past participle plays an important role in forming the perfect tenses and . Furthermore, most past participles can be used as adjectives and can be combined with the verb 'ser' to express the passive voice.

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