DIFFERENCES BETWEEN "CONOCER, SABER AND PODER"

These three verbs in Spanish induce to confusions since in other languages is used a same verb for the three meanings. In this article we are going to explain the meaning differences that there are between these verbs.

CONOCER:
To know something or somebody means that we have had some experience of the thing (or person) known.It is possible to know: a book, a film, a place, a person. The use of the preposition a is obligatory when the Direct Object is a person:
Vamos a tomar algo. Yo conozco un sitio por aquí donde ponen una tapas buenísimas.
¿Conoces a Fernando? Es un chico muy simpático.

SABER:
1.- It is used to speak about learned abilities, as for exemple: to swim, to draw, to speak a language...
¿Sabes hablar chino?

2.- It is also used to speak of the knowledge that somebody has of an information.
¿Sabes que María se ha casado? / ¿Sabes quién viene esta tarde?

PODER:
1.- It means the possibility or capacity to do something:
Yo sé tocar el piano, pero hoy no puedo tocar nada porque me duele mucho la cabeza.

2.- It is also used with an infinitive verb to ask permission or to issue orders and instructions:
¿Puedo sentarme aquí?

SABER/CONOCER:
Some times poder and conocer are used in the same cases, and then they are synonymous:

1.- When conocer means to find out or to be found out of an event or a new.
Conozco / Sé las dificultades de este trabajo
Hoy las noticias se conocen / se saben al momento en cualquier parte del mundo

2.- When we want to express our knowledge or ideas about a subject or science:
Ramón conoce / sabe muy bien su oficio
¿Conoces / Sabes la teoría de la relatividad?