What's the correct option?

Example sentence:

I (have) learned that word from books.

Maybe there's something funny with this sentence? Maybe you can learn a word only from one book? I'm assuming this based on this Google search.

1 Answer 1


Personally, I would say have learned because it makes it sound like you learned it at an indefinite that was in the past. However, saying that you just learned it sounds better to me when you're talking about a specific book. I.e.

I have learned it from books. (over time, at some time in the past)

I learned it from the Bible. (a specific book that you read once)

However, I learned it from books still sounds decently good.

  • I think you are right ... but my logic was this: when you learn a word, it just happens once ... maybe I'm wrong? When you add "have" it sounds like you've been discovering a word many times ... but I don't know, maybe I'm wrong.
    – alexchenco
    May 25, 2019 at 17:57
  • 1
    That makes sense, but 'have' in this case just makes it sound like you learned it at some indefinite time. The books taught it to you, but it's not clear exactly at what point you did. It doesn't sound like you're learning it multiple times; this is generally true for things that happen once. May 25, 2019 at 18:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .