Savoir
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Savoir

French

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Old French savoir, saveir, from Vulgar Latin *sap?re, from Latin sap?re ("to taste") (and "to know" in Late Latin, by influence of the adjective sapi?ns ("wise")), present active infinitive of sapi?. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *seh?p- ("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 sc?re "to know".

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

See cognates in regional languages in France : Angevin sçavouèr, Bourbonnais-Berrichon savoér, Bourguignon saivoi, Champenois saouâr, Franc-Comtois saivoi, Gallo savair, Lorrain sahoir, Norman saveî, Picard savoèr, Poitevin-Saintongeais saver, Tourangeau sçavouèr, Franco-Provençal savêr, Occitan saupre or saber, Catalan saber, Corsican sapè.

Pronunciation

  • (file)
  • IPA(key): /sa.vwa?/
  • Rhymes: -wa?

Verb

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 cessé la résistance dans la bande de Gaza», a poursuivi M. Abbas.» - Le Devoir, 3 September 2010
  4. to find out
    Nous devons savoir pourquoi il a fait ça.
    We have to find out why he did this.

Usage notes

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

Conjugation

Synonyms

Related terms

Noun

savoir m (plural savoirs)

  1. knowledge

Further reading

Anagrams


Old French

Alternative forms

  • saveir (early Old French or Anglo-Norman)
  • savier (La Vie de Saint Léger, circa 980)

Etymology

From Vulgar Latin *sap?re, from Latin sapere, present active infinitive of sapi? ("I taste"), later "I know".

Verb

savoir

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

Conjugation

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.

Noun

savoir m (oblique plural savoirs, nominative singular savoirs, nominative plural savoir)

  1. knowledge
  2. wisdom

Descendants

  • Middle French: sçavoir
  • Walloon: saveur

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

savoir
 



 



 
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