Advanced Intermediate Spanish Podcast 21 – Saber Conocer & Decir in Preterite

data scaleSaber, Conocer and Decir in Preterite Past.

These three verbs are surely some of the more interesting Spanish verbs because of the additional complications they pose to English speaking students. The fact that Saber and Conocer both mean To Know and yet those ‘knowings’ are most often very different makes learning them an interesting process.

To add insult to injury, once they move into the past they become even more complex and their meanings change yet again.

Some interesting question are:

Which verb and  tense do we use if we want to say: “I knew it.”?

How would I say: ” I knew her when I was in school.”?

What about: “I found out the truth yesterday.”?

and finally:

“Where did you meet your wife?”

If you already know how to say these sentences in Spanish then we would say to you: “Enhorabuena.”

However, if you have any doubts then this is the ideal podcast for you to listen to.


Decir in Preterite and Imperfect Past.

Now, let’s discuss some of the more important aspects of the verb “to say”. The reality is that this verb is one, if not the most important verb that any serious student of Spanish should “dominar” totally.


Think about the conversations you have in your own language. How many times do you find yourself telling someone about a conversation you had earlier.

“Well, I said to him that…..And he said to me that… then he said that his sister had said that….”

In our own language we sail through sentences without even noticing the complexity of the structures we are using. Yet, once you are in your second, third or whatever language, suddenly things start to get a little more difficult.

It’s for that reason that you should truly have Decir in Preterite and Imperfect past completely under control.

To begin with, Decir in Preterite is irregular and must be learnt apart from the usual preterite structure. That said, it’s used so often that very soon you’ll have it learnt by heart.

If you have any doubts about how to translate the following sentences, then this is the podcast to listen to.

I said to her that…

She said to me that…

I told her it…

Did you tell him?

Clearly, not everything can be covered in a ten minute podcast and for that reason we back up all of our podcasts with a fully comprehensive Helpsheet and Transcription designed with you in mind.  The helsheets are filled with helpful and current examples of how these verbs are used and then are backed up by some tests to check your understanding.

We hope you find them useful in your learning journey.


Gordon y Cynthia 🙂


Video for This Spanish Lesson

Audio for This Spanish Lesson