"Claire knows the shop closing time" requires "connaitre", but "Claire knows the shop closes at midday" requires "savoir"? Are they not both facts (connaitre)? Or both stating knowledge of a fact (savoir)? What's the difference? Very confusing!
Ask yourself whether you could write down what is being known. If you can, use connaître if it becomes awkward, consider savoir. The shop closing time, i.e. 12 noon, is easy to write down, hence connaître. But how would you write down the knowledge that it closes at noon?
Another hint is that connaître usually has a direct object, i.e., the very thing that one knows. Savoir doesn't. What savoir knows is often specified in a separate clause introduced by que.
Je connais ton nom. -- I know your name.Je sais que ton nom est Pierre. -- I know that your name is Pierre.
This may be a bit crude/basic, but I normally remember it simply by:
Savoir + verb
Connaître + noun
Claire connaît l'heure de fermeture du magasin (+ noun)
Claire sait que le magasin ferme à midi (+ verb)
Yes! It can be confusing, I agree.
It is important to understand the subtleties here -- "savoir" is synonymous with "connaître" but the key point is "savoir" requires clear knowledge whereas "connaître" familiarity, acquainted - less rigid.
To go back to the text in your post -- Claire is familiar (has awareness of - connaître) shop closing times but has factual knowledge (savoir) of the shop mid-day closing regime.
Hope this helps.
Yes, that's what I tried to say.
maybe je sais "something or how" connais being a more intimate understanding of a subject or a person
But this is always a difficult one at A1 and A2.. and something you will pick up in time.. just do not worry about it... and note that even more experience members cannot be entirely clear about it... personally, I think it is more having the phrases burnt into the memory banks rather than just words.
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