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FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old French savoir, saveir, from Vulgar Latin *sapēre, from Latin sapĕre (to taste) (and "to know" in Late Latin, by influence of the adjective sapiēns (wise)), present active infinitive of sapiō. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *seh₁p- (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.

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.

PronunciationEdit

  • (file)
  • IPA(key): /savwaʁ/
  • Rhymes: -waʁ

VerbEdit

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 notesEdit

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

ConjugationEdit

SynonymsEdit

Related termsEdit

NounEdit

savoir m (plural savoirs)

  1. knowledge

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


Old FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit

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

EtymologyEdit

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

VerbEdit

savoir

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

ConjugationEdit

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.

NounEdit

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

  1. knowledge
  2. wisdom

DescendantsEdit