I am in the process of writing a speech about my experiences of being homeless, and I have run into a situation in which my advisor's opinion of the proper grammar/phrasing of a sentence and my own disagree. Here is the sentence as I have it written:

**During my period of homelessness, I had come to know a great community drop-in center and food shelf, [...] ** (name of organization removed)

He would like for me to say "During my period of homelessness, I got to know a great community drop-in center and food shelf," [...]

To me, "got to know" sounds very "urban dictionary" and unrefined. I realize it is technically proper English, but I'd like a more dignified way of saying it. Is my way technically incorrect? I have no problem with using archaic language in conversation, but I want to make sure it is correct grammar before I insist it be my way. I am torn as to if it needs to be "I came to know" to be properly past tense, or if I can use "had come to know" in this case. "Had come to know" sounds much more formal to me, and I am hoping it is correct.

  • Whether it's better to use the past perfect or the simple past here depends entirely on the previous sentence and the next sentence, which you haven't bothered to give us. Apr 20, 2017 at 0:57
  • Welcome to ELU, Phaewryn. Please answer Peter Shor's question so we can help.
    – Xanne
    Apr 20, 2017 at 3:55

1 Answer 1


"I came to know" is correct, as is "I got to know."

The past perfect tense would be superfluous here. Too much of a good thing.

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