4

Which one do I have to use?

I got to know it was a self-help book.

or

I got to know it is a self-help book.

Which sentence is correct?

Note: The book is/was a self-help book when I was reading it; also now the book is a self-help book, and also in the future the book will be a self-help book.

2

If you are talking about the past you should say

I got to know that it was a self-help book.

even if the book still exists, because you are referring to something that happened to you in the past ("getting to know" or further back when you read the book) you should use "was".

If you are talking generally about something that still exists then you will use "is"

I read a book called "Teach Yourself English", I got to know it is a self-help book.

  • I'm trying to tell My friend that This book is self-help book,so I can use "is". – user1114 Mar 20 '13 at 15:59
  • 1
    Yes, use "is" if you are talking about a book in the present. "This book is a self-help book." (with "a"). Probably shortened to "This is a self-help book." – QuentinUK Mar 20 '13 at 16:04
4

I got to know that it was a self-help book.

This means that you learned in the past that the book was a self-help book. Use this tense if you are writing a paragraph in the past tense. If you are using present tense in your writing, with this line in past tense, it could mean that the book has changed since that point in time.

I got to know that it is a self-help book.

This is present tense and means that the book is currently a self-help book.

I got to know is an unusual phrase in describing an acquired bit of knowledge. I would recommend instead, I learned, I found out, or simply, I know.

I found out that it is a self-help book.

I learned that it is a self-help book.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.