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Getting to Know You: A Guide to the “Conocer” Conjugation in Spanish

What would you do if you met the love of your life, but couldn’t speak their language? How would you know what to say to them, or what to do when you met their family or their friends? Don’t panic! In today’s guide, we’re going to go over the Spanish verb “conocer”, meaning “to meet” or “to know”, so that if you encounter a special someone who speaks Spanish, you can navigate meeting them with confidence! By the end of this article, you will have a very solid foundation of conocer conjugation at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.

There’s something in here for everyone, and I even threw in a bonus section in case you’re already an expert!

What Kind of Verb is Conocer?

I get it. If you were to rely entirely on our articles, you’d think that every verb in Spanish is irregular, and irregular means hard to learn. Well, unfortunately you’re out of luck, because conocer is irregular too. But don’t worry, it won’t be that complicated, and it certainly won’t be painful.

The trick is to understand what irregular verbs are, so let’s start with that: In Spanish, there are three possible types of verb endings: ar (Like ganar, to win), er (like creer, to believe/think), and ir (like compartir, to share). Everything that comes before ar, er, or ir is referred to as the “verb stem”. In regular verb conjugation, the verb stem never changes no matter what tense or subject the verb is being conjugated with.

For example, the verb comer is regular because no matter how it’s conjugated, the stem of the verb always remains “com-“ (For example: yo como, el/ella come, nosotros comemos…etc). On the other hand, verbs are considered irregular when their stem does change depending on tense and subject. In conocer’s case, for instance, the correct conjugation for the first person in the present tense is “yo conozco”. Whilst these different rules might seem a bit complicated at first, this guide has complete tables for conocer conjugation, so that you can learn them by heart quickly and easily. With just a little practice, you’ll be able to navigate irregular verbs effortlessly.

If you want more practice with irregular verbs, please consider reading other articles we’ve got on the blog, like for the verbs preferir (to prefer) or seguir (to follow/to continue).

The Different Meanings of Conocer

One thing it is worth knowing before we actually get to conocer conjugation is the subtle differences in meaning that exist when using this verb. As I mentioned before, conocer means both “to meet” and “to know”. For instance, you use it to refer to meeting someone new, like in the sentence “Hoy conocí a Daniel” which means “I met Daniel today”. However, conocer is also used to refer to knowing someone or something. For example, if you want to ask someone if they know The Beatles, you would say: “¿Conoces a los Beatles?”. As you can see, it’s relatively straightforward: we use the verb conocer when we refer to meeting someone new, or knowing someone or something.

However, it is also worth considering that, in Spanish, we don’t use the verb conocer to meet as in “get together”. Conocer only refers to meeting someone for the first time. So, for instance, if what you wanted to say was “I met my friend Lucy for coffee”, you would actually use the verb “salir” (to go out), about which you can read more here, or “juntar” (to join). This is what the correct sentence would look like in Spanish: “Hoy salí con Lucy a tomar café”, or “Hoy me junté con Lucy para tomar café”.

Now that we’ve gone over these tips, keep them in mind, as you’ll notice you probably won’t be using the verb conocer as often as you’d think (unless you meet lots of new people all the time, in which case, good for you!)

Conocer Verbals

Now, let’s do some actual conocer conjugation! Starting with verbals. Verbals can seem a little bit complicated, which is why I always like to put them first because, despite their name, verbals happen when verbs that don’t act like verbs in a sentence. Instead, they act as adverbs, nouns, or adjectives. Usually, this is because there is a different active verb in the sentence. The verbals we’ll look at for conocer are: el infinitivo (the infinitive), el gerundio (the gerund), and el participio (the participle).

Infinitivo (infinitive)

The infinitive verbal of conocer is just “conocer”. The reason for this is that the infinitive form of a verb is its basic unconjugated form, so we can use it when conocer isn’t the active verb in the sentence.

Here’s an example:

  • “¿Quieres conocer a Juan?” -> “Do you want to meet Juan?”

In this sentence, the active verb is “querer(to want), and not conocer, so we use the infinitive.

Gerundio (gerund)

The gerund is another possible verbal form, but it is used in a sentence with a different active verb, but when you want to indicate that the action is still ongoing and hasn’t finished yet.

For example:

  • “Estamos conociendo a muchas personas interesantes” -> “We are meeting a lot of interesting people”. In this case, the active verb is estar (to be), and we add “conociendo” because the action isn’t complete yet.

Participio (participle)

Finally, the participle is a third verbal form that is really useful when “conocer” is being used to qualify a sentence where the active verb is haber (to have). You’ll notice, when we move onto intermediate conjugation, that the compound perfect preterite, the pluperfect, and the compound future perfect tenses all use this verbal form of “conocer”. That’s because, in Spanish, compound tenses always include a conjugated form of haber (to have), and the participle form of any other verb (in this case, conocer). For example:

Hoy he conocido a alguien muy especial” -> “I met someone very special today”. In this case, the active verb is “haber” (to have), and conocer becomes conocido.

And with that, let’s get into some verb tables because you’ve earned something a bit easier!

Beginner Conocer Conjugation

To start with, the most important four tenses to learn for any Spanish verb are the present tense (presente), the past perfect (pasado perfecto), the past imperfect (imperfecto), and the future tense (futuro). These tenses are the absolute foundation for any knowledge of conocer conjugation, and mastering them will get you well on your way to navigating all other tenses.

Subject  Presente (Present)

Know/ Meet” 

Perfecto (Perfect)


Imperfecto (Imperfect)

“Was knowing/ meeting”



“Will Know/ Meet”

Yo (I) Conozco Conocí Conocía Conoceré
Tú (You)

Vos (Latin America)



Conociste Conocías Conocerás
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (You, formal)

Conoce Conoció Conocía Conocerá
Nosotros (We) Conocemos Conocimos Conocíamos Conoceremos
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)









Ellos/Ellas (They/Them)       Conocen Conocieron Conocían Conocerán

Example Sentences for Beginner Conjugation

  • Present: “¿Julio, conoces el Restaurante Los Leones en Granada?” -> “Julio, do you know ‘Los Leones’ Restaurant in Granada?”
  • Perfect: “Marisol conoció a su novio en un museo de arte.” -> “Marisol met her boyfriend at an art museum.”
  • Imperfect: “Antes conocíamos el camino a la playa, pero ahora han cambiado las carreteras.” -> “We used to know the way to the beach, but now all the roads have been changed!”
  • Future: “Conoceréis al rey cuando durante vuestra ceremonia de graduación.” -> “You will meet the king during your graduation ceremony.”

Conocer Conjugation for Intermediate Learners

Next up, let’s look at those compound tenses we talked about in the verbals section. Compound tenses really help with adding complexity to a sentence, like when you want to say you “have met” someone rather than you “met” them. If that makes sense, let’s look at the compound perfect preterite (pretérito perfecto compuesto), which deals with the present, pluperfect (pluscuamperfecto), which deals with the past, and compound future perfect (Futuro compuesto), which deals with the future.

Subject Pretérito perfecto compuesto

(Compound Perfect Preterite)

  “Have known/met”



“Had known/met”

Futuro Compuesto

(Future Perfect)

“Will have known/met”

Yo (I) He conocido Había conocido Habré conocido
Tu (You)

Vos (Latin America)

Has conocido Habías conocido Habrás conocido
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (You, formal)

Ha conocido Había conocido Habrá conocido
Nosotros (We) Hemos conocido Habíamos conocido Habremos conocido
Vosotros (You, plural) 

Ustedes (Latin America)

Habeís conocido

Han conocido

Habíais conocido

Habían conocido

Habréis conocido

Habrán conocido

Ellos/Ellas (Them) Han conocido Habían conocido Habrán conocido

Example Sentences for Intermediate Conjugation

  • Compound Perfect Preterite: “He conocido a Sergio Ramos, mi jugador de fútbol preferido” -> “I met Sergio Ramos, my favorite football player.”
  • Pluperfect: “Justo habían conocido a la novia de Alberto cuando anunciaron que iban a casarse.” -> “They’d only just met Alberto’s girlfriend when they announced they were going to get married.”
  • Future Perfect: “Para ese entonces ya habré conocido a tu familia, entonces me gustaría invitarlos a mi fiesta de cumpleaños” -> “I’ll have met your family by then, so I’d like to invite them to my birthday party.”

Advanced Conocer Conjugation

Great job getting through compound tenses! If you’re up for an even bigger challenge, let’s look at some advanced conjugation using subjunctive tenses. In Spanish, the subjunctive is used to express doubt and uncertainty in a sentence. For example, you might be wanting to tell a friend what would happen if you were to meet someone, rather than what happened when you met them. Let’s look at the present subjunctive (subjuntivo presente), the subjunctive imperfect preterite (subjuntivo pretérito imperfecto), another past tense, and the future subjunctive (subjuntivo future).

Subject Present Subjunctive (subjuntivo presente)

“Know/Meet” (uncertain)

Subjunctive imperfect preterite (subjuntivo pretérito imperfecto)

“Were to have known/met”

Future Subjunctive 

(Subjuntivo Futuro)

“Were to know/meet”

Yo (I) Conozca Conociera or Conociese Conociere
Tú (You)

Vos (Latin America)

Conozcas Conocieras or Conocieses Conocieres
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (Formal)

Conozca Conociera or Conociese Conociere
Nosotros (We) Conozcamos Conociéramos or Conociésemos Conociéremos
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America) 



Conocierais or Conocieseis

Conocieran or Conociesen



Ellos/Ellas (Them) Conozcan Conoceran or Conociesen Conocieren

Example Sentences for Advanced Conjugation

  • Present Subjunctive: “Cuando la conozcas, sabrás lo inteligente que es.” -> “When you meet her, you’ll know how smart she is.”
  • Subjunctive Imperfect Preterite “¿Si hoy conocierais al amor de vuestra vida, qué haríais? -> “If you all met the love of your life today, what would you do?”
  • Future Subjunctive “Si Gustavo te conociere, estoy segura de que le gustarías.” -> “If Gustavo met you, I’m certain he would like you.”

Conditional Conocer Conjugation

Remember that bonus section I talked about at the start? Well, here it is! Let’s look at one final verb table for conocer conjugation, this time using conditional tenses. Conditional tenses are another very useful family of tenses because they help you express what would happen if certain conditions were met.

For instance, you might be trying to express that you would meet someone if they did something for you in return. For that, you’d use the conditional.

Subject  Condicional 


“Would play”

Condicional Perfecto (Perfect Conditional)

“Would have played”

Yo (I) Conocería Habría conocido
Tu (You)

Vos (Latin America)



Habrías conocido
El/Ella (He/She/It)

Usted (You, formal)

Conocería Habría conocido
Nosotros (We) Conoceríamos Habríamos conocido
Vosotros (You, plural)

Ustedes (Latin America)



Habríais conocido

Habrían conocido

Ellos/Ellas (They/Them) Conocerían Habrían conocido

Example Sentences for Conditional Conjugation

  • Conditional: “Conocerían a mas niños de su edad si los dejarais salir un poco más” -> “They would know more kids their age if you let them go out a bit more.”
  • Perfect Conditional: “Lo habría conocido antes si no tuviera tanto trabajo” -> “I would have met him earlier if I didn’t have so much work.”

Conocer Conjugation – Conclusion

Fantastic job getting through this article! Irregular verbs can seem daunting, but with a little practice and use, they can become as intuitive as regular ones. Speaking of practice, we have the perfect thing for you. At the end of this article, you’ll find a tailor-made Cloze Collection to help you flex all the new conocer skills you’ve just learned in this post. I highly recommend you try a few rounds out for yourself, to really consolidate what you’ve read about. As always, I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, and I’ll see you in the next one!

Challenge yourself with Clozemaster

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Test your skills and see what you’ve learned from this article by playing a selection of sentences with forms of the verb conocer.

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