get to know/come to know/find out/find out about

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iron mann

Hi everyone,

Which one is the best option in the following phrase:

"I would like to GET TO KNOW/COME TO KNOW/FIND OUT/FIND OUT ABOUT the German literature."

In this context is presupposed that the person doesn't know anything about "the German literature", not even Goethe or Schiller ;-)

I think GET TO KNOW (adn maybe FIND OUT ABOUT) implies that you already know at least something about the object (the German literature) so that option should be eliminated, but I'm not sure.
FIND OUT sounds like DISCOVER and so not very idiomatic.

If it was a person I certainly would say "I would like to MEET Paul (or George, etc.)", but I don't think you can use MEET when you're talking about a THING. What I wanna know here is what is the best option to express the same thing when you "MEET" a THING, this is, when you have your first contact with something like a country, a culture, a kind of literature, etc.

looking forward to hearing from you!!
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Hello iron mann.

    Welcome. :)

    If I wanted to become familiar with German literature and learn its characteristics by reading it, I would say:

    I would like to get to know [the] German literature.

    If I wanted to learn facts about German literature and I was going to read what other people said about it rather than read it myself, I would say:

    I would like to find out about German literature.

    [This second one seems to me an odd approach to literature. It is not something I would be likely to say.]

    (We wouldn't say 'the' German literature.)

    I hope I have answered your question.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English (American)
    First, it would just be "German literature," not "the German literature."

    As to the verb, I would write:

    "I would like to learn about German literature," or "I would like to find out more about German literature."

    "Get to know" sounds like the most natural among the choices you are given; it means "become familiar with." Please note that you do already know something about German literature: the fact that it exists. That is why "find out about" sounds wrong, because that generally means to learn of the existence of something. As to the other two choices, "find out" is definitely wrong, since it needs a preposition, while "come to know" is a perfectly plausible choice, though it's not what I would probably write.

    iron mann

    Hi Cagey,

    Thank you so much!!

    Just 2 more question:

    1) I know that "get to know" implies you I already know the person: You meet a person, then you get to know that person. Isn't it true for things, too?

    2) What about a country? Exemple: I don't know anything about Hungary, I've never had any contact with it. Should I say "I would like to GET TO KNOW hungary"? or "find out Hungary"? ...

    Thank you in advance!!

    iron mann

    Thank you Glenfarclas!!
    It also answers the question I've just sent about "get to know" when it refers to things and not people.
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