I saw this expression occasionally. for instance, "By an investigation, we were given to know that the man had commited suicide two years after his divorce."

First I wonder if it is good english. Second, why not just say "we learned/understood that ..."

Any comments are welcome.


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Suicide is a sin, could you tell me more about this man ? There is a rumor about this. War makes people misery. Almost my classmates who lived in foreign countries, used to get divorce. They come back to their homeland and married the other girls, usually young and more beautiful than their old wives. But I scared if it happened in my country.

Phuong Ninh
I've never heard that expression, and google barely knows it Emotion: sad I'm more familiar with "we came to know", "it was brought to our knowledge", or, in a simpler way (as you say) "we heard", "we learned".
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I have, indeed come across the expression "given to know" in a few books, though it is very rarely used in daily life - at least where I live anyway.

"was given to know" means "was told", but well... I have no clue why one phrase is used instead of another. Phrases pop in and out of use in all languages, maybe this is just one that popped out of use in our age [:^)]
Where are you from, by the way, Mr. Phuongninhbao?
Hi guys,

To me, 'given to know' hints that what I was given to know may not be true. In other words, there is some implication of possible deception.

Best wishes, Clive
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"was/were given to know" is a bit unusual. More common versions of that sort of phrasing are "was/were given to believe", "was/were given to understand", and "was/were led to believe".

I was moved to tears so I couldn't to answer the question.I think it can be substitued by: It has been said: People ssid,or there is the rumour etc....I. hope it will not the truth..You can read all my posts and read my..may be they're called profile. I wish we were in the same class, may be in Dalat or Cap Saint Jacques or you're my teacher Web is really mysterious,Vn.

Phuong Ninh
I would read "we were given to know" as "we were informed by not entirely explicit means", e.g. hints, oblique references, etc.

I agree that "given to understand" is more usual.

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