savoir

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French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French saveir, savoir, from Vulgar Latin *sapēre, from Latin sapĕre "to taste", and "to know" in Late Latin, by influence of the adjective sapiēns (wise). Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *sap- (to try, to research). The verb was for a long time spelled sçavoir from Middle French until the 18th century, by false regression to Classical Latin scīre "to know".

The forms of the verb with -ch- are a regular reflex of Latin -pi- (/-pj-/). Compare seiche, approcher, hache.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

savoir

  1. to know (something)
    Il est difficile de savoir si elle ment.
    It's difficult to know if she's lying
    Difficile à savoir (expression; confer Difficile à dire, voir, faire)
  2. to know how (to do something)
    Savez-vous nager?
    Do you know how to swim?
  3. to be able to, to be apt to (especially in the negative conditional)
    Il ne saurait tarder que...
    It cannot/will not be long before...
    «Il ne saurait être considéré comme un acte de résistance puisque le Hamas a a cessé la résistance dans la bande de Gaza», a poursuivi M. Abbas.»Le Devoir, 3 September 2010

Usage notes[edit]

To translate know in the sense "to be acquainted with", the verb connaître is used.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Conjugation[edit]

Noun[edit]

savoir m (plural savoirs)

  1. knowledge

Anagrams[edit]

External links[edit]


Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Vulgar Latin *sapēre, from Latin sapere, present active infinitive of sapiō (I taste), later "I know".

Verb[edit]

savoir

  1. to know
  2. to be skilled in
    molt bien savoit le latin
    he was very skilled in Latin

Conjugation[edit]

This verb conjugates as a third-group verb. This verb has a stressed present stem sev distinct from the unstressed stem sav, as well as other irregularities. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

Descendants[edit]