I'm having argument with a colleague of mine over which statement is more correct. I figured the English language gurus of StackExchange would be able to set us straight.

  • 3
    We need more context; they both can be correct. Aug 16 '12 at 17:30
  • 2
    Context please. Without context both are grammatical, and this is no different than asking whether "What I learned" is more proper than "Where I will have been learning".
    – RegDwigнt
    Aug 16 '12 at 17:31
  • It's being used as a title of a PowerPoint slide.
    – CeeSharp
    Aug 16 '12 at 17:35
  • 1
    And what's the context of the slide? Aug 16 '12 at 18:07
  • Please never just ask “Which is correct?” It shows no effort on your part, and gives us nothing to go on. As the Help Center says in its “How to ask a good question” section: “Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!” Thank you.
    – tchrist
    Jul 4 '14 at 2:15

Both are correct. My gut instinct is that "what I learned" sounds more like you're referring to a specific (shortish) period of time, eg.:

What I learned today was that I like asparagus.
What I learned during the 2 week course was invaluable.

... whereas "what I've learned" is more general, or at least refers to a longer time period, eg.:

What I've learned in life is to avoid poisonous snakes.
What I've learned at college is that kids don't like to learn.


Neither statement is incorrect.

To determine which is "more correct" is really a matter of what context you're using the statement in.

When considering "What I've learned" I find it helpful to take out the contraction and think of it as "What I have learned"

So for example you might prefer to say "What I have learned over these past few days..." than "What I learned over these past few days."

As another example you might also prefer to use "What I Learned Today" as a title over "What I've Learned Today."


It depends on context. Either can be grammatically correct. If the powerpoint presentation is a summary of your first year at your current job, "What I've learned" might be more appropriated. If you are recounting a conference you went to two months ago, "What I Learned" could be the better choice.

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