I am trying to find a way to refer to acquiring the knowledge of something new or to be aware of something that recently happened.

Usually we can say,

I heard on the news...

I read on the news...

or even besides news,

I heard that your brother got a new job.

I read that they are builiding a new house in front of your work.

Didn't you hear what happened? There is this virus outbreak in China.

I am wondering whether is there a specific verb or expression I can use for this.

Sometimes I think I hear some people using to learn with this meaning, but I am uncertain whether it is correct.

I learnt you'll become a father.

Did you learn what is the team doing next year? They will play with a new jersey.

I learnt today they are planning to build a new airport in the city.

Is this correct? otherwise, is there any way to refer to this?

  • 1
    We use various "verbs of perception" (hear, read, see) quite loosely in English for the general sense of "become aware of", so it's quite possible for someone to say I heard you got married even if they actually acquired that information by reading a Facebook post. But we use many other verbs with much the same sense, so I understand you're emigrating is just a slightly roundabout way of saying I'm aware that you intend to leave the country (but I may not have the faintest idea why; I don't really "understand" the situation). Jan 26, 2020 at 15:03
  • 1
    ...and I gather you are to be a father, for example, is an even more extreme metaphoric usage (not to mention gleaning information). All language is metaphor, as they say. Jan 26, 2020 at 15:04
  • 1
    ...by the same token, to learn X can be used to mean to become aware of X as well as to be taught X.. Jan 26, 2020 at 15:08
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica Great. So you mean that there are many verbs for this -many of them interchangeable depending the case-, but not a really a single verb that includes all of them, right? And if learn can be used to mean to become aware of X, that would be maybe the closest to a globar verb for this?
    – myradio
    Jan 26, 2020 at 16:39
  • I'm not sure what you mean by "a single verb that includes all of them". But there are few (if any cases) in English of even two words having exactly the same meaning in all contexts, so you shouldn't assume that you could use to become aware of to replace every instance of the alternative verbs I've given above. Maybe you'll find some useful ideas by looking at the Wikipedia page for epistemic modality, but at the moment it's not clear to me exactly what you're asking, and what kind of answer you're looking for. Jan 26, 2020 at 16:59


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