Get to know [a place]

Li'l Bull

Senior Member
Spanish (Spain)
Hi, native speakers of English!

I've just heard the following sentence (from a video on the BBC website):

"People are getting to know more and more of the sultanate." (The sultanate refers to Oman, and the speaker means that tourists are little by little discovering the area)

I've always been told that "get to know" is used for people, as in "I hope we have time to get to know each other better", and that "experience" or "learn about" works better with places, cultures... e.g. "Travelling gives you the opportunity to experience/learn about other cultures/countries".

I don't think the person who uttered the sentence above is a native speaker, so I would like to know if you native speakers think "get to know" is correct and idiomatic when followed by a place.

Thank you in advance.
 
  • Ral.G

    Senior Member
    Polish
    "Get to know" basically means "learn". "Let's get to know each other" means "let's learn more about one another".
    Same with "get to know a place" - it means "to learn more about it". Though, in my opinion, it implies "by being there" - if it was just "people are learning more and more about the sultanate" then it could just as well be "from the stories/internet/guide books".
     

    tepatria

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I certainly like to get to know new places. I learn about the culture, the best places to eat, the entertainment and so on. When talking about places, get to know and learn about are synonymous to me. Experiencing a place is different. I can get to know a place through reading, watching TV, researching on the internet and so on. I can only experience it by being there.
     

    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    I can get to know a place through reading, watching TV, researching on the internet and so on. I can only experience it by being there.
    Thank you, tepatria. So do you mean "get to know" is not correct/idiomatic in the sentence in my original post because tourists actually do experience a place, as opposed to someone who does research on the Internet before going to the place, or just out of curiosity?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Hi, native speakers of English!

    I've just heard the following sentence (from a video on the BBC website):

    "People are getting to know more and more of the sultanate." (The sultanate refers to Oman, and the speaker means that tourists are little by little discovering the area)

    I've always been told that "get to know" is used for people, as in "I hope we have time to get to know each other better", and that "experience" or "learn about" works better with places, cultures... e.g. "Travelling gives you the opportunity to experience/learn about other cultures/countries".

    I don't think the person who uttered the sentence above is a native speaker, so I would like to know if you native speakers think "get to know" is correct and idiomatic when followed by a place.

    Thank you in advance.
    It is used for people, but if someone told you it can't be used for places, they misled you.
     

    tepatria

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Thank you, tepatria. So do you mean "get to know" is not correct/idiomatic in the sentence in my original post because tourists actually do experience a place, as opposed to someone who does research on the Internet before going to the place, or just out of curiosity?
    Get to know is correct and idiomatic for people and places. You can get to know a place by experiencing it.
     

    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Get to know is correct and idiomatic for people and places. You can get to know a place by experiencing it.
    So are both "get to know" and "experience" OK in this example?:

    "I love travelling because it broadens the mind. It gives you the opportunity to get to know / experience other cultures." - In this case we would be speaking of actual travel, that is, experiencing other cultures firsthand, as opposed to Internet research, for example."

    If both are correct, is there any difference at all?

    Thank you in advance.
     

    Alejandra36

    Member
    Spanish, Chile
    Please give us a complete sentence, Alejanddra36, with some context so we'll understand what you're asking.
    Thanks for your interest.
    The context is:
    "If I won the lottery, I would travel to Europe, especially Italy, and I would spend money knowing the best places there"
    Thanks!
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    No, in your sentence, you should say "getting to know the best places…"

    It doesn't cost you money to know a place. It can cost you money as you get to know a place, because you need to travel there, stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, take tours, and so forth. Once you have gotten to know a place, you continue to know the place, but that knowing has no cost.

    I realize this is confusing because the verb in Spanish doesn't differentiate between "make the acquaintance of" and "be familiar with." The verb "to know" in English does not have the former meaning.
     
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