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These verbs denote perception of the nature and significance of something. Understand is the most general and can apply to a range of situations or degrees of perception: understood the directions; understands only a little spoken Spanish; couldn't understand what I did wrong.
It can also refer to the thorough knowledge gained by close experience: "No one who has not had the responsibility can really understand what it is like to be President" (Harry S. Truman).
Comprehend stresses wide or thorough perception: "To comprehend is to know a thing as well as that thing can be known" (John Donne).
Apprehend denotes both mental and intuitive awareness: "Intelligence is quickness to apprehend" (Alfred North Whitehead).
To grasp is to seize an idea firmly: "We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount" (Omar N. Bradley).
v. -stood, -stand•ing. v.t.
If you can understand someone or can understand what they are saying, you know what they mean.
If you say that you understand that something is true, you mean that you have been told that it is true.
Don't use understand to say that someone becomes aware of something. Don't say, for example, 'Until he stopped working he hadn't understood how late it was'. You say 'Until he stopped working he hadn't realized how late it was'.
Past participle: understood
|Verb||1.||understand - know and comprehend the nature or meaning of; "She did not understand her husband"; "I understand what she means"|
apprehend, comprehend, get the picture, grok, savvy, grasp, compass, dig - get the meaning of something; "Do you comprehend the meaning of this letter?"
sense - comprehend; "I sensed the real meaning of his letter"
follow - grasp the meaning; "Can you follow her argument?"; "When he lectures, I cannot follow"
get, catch - grasp with the mind or develop an understanding of; "did you catch that allusion?"; "We caught something of his theory in the lecture"; "don't catch your meaning"; "did you get it?"; "She didn't get the joke"; "I just don't get him"
touch - comprehend; "He could not touch the meaning of the poem"
translate, understand, interpret, read - make sense of a language; "She understands French"; "Can you read Greek?"
read - to hear and understand; "I read you loud and clear!"
construe, interpret, see - make sense of; assign a meaning to; "What message do you see in this letter?"; "How do you interpret his behavior?"
make out - comprehend; "I cannot make out what this politician is saying"
figure out, puzzle out, solve, lick, work out, work - find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of; "did you solve the problem?"; "Work out your problems with the boss"; "this unpleasant situation isn't going to work itself out"; "did you get it?"; "Did you get my meaning?"; "He could not work the math problem"
|2.||understand - perceive (an idea or situation) mentally; "Now I see!"; "I just can't see your point"; "Does she realize how important this decision is?"; "I don't understand the idea"|
perceive - become conscious of; "She finally perceived the futility of her protest"
take account, appreciate - be fully aware of; realize fully; "Do you appreciate the full meaning of this letter?"
envision, fancy, picture, visualize, image, visualise, figure, see, project - imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind; "I can't see him on horseback!"; "I can see what will happen"; "I can see a risk in this strategy"
see - see and understand, have a good eye; "The artist must first learn to see"
|3.||understand - make sense of a language; "She understands French"; "Can you read Greek?"|
understand - know and comprehend the nature or meaning of; "She did not understand her husband"; "I understand what she means"
|4.||understand - believe to be the case; "I understand you have no previous experience?"|
believe - accept as true; take to be true; "I believed his report"; "We didn't believe his stories from the War"; "She believes in spirits"
|5.||understand - be understanding of; "You don't need to explain--I understand!"|
"In the long course of history, having people who understand your thought is much greater security than another submarine" [J. William Fulbright speaking of the Fulbright scholarship programme]
understand[ˌʌndəˈstænd] (understood (pt, pp))
I can't understand it! → ¡no lo entiendo!
I can't understand your writing → no entiendo tu letra
that's what I can't understand → eso es lo que no logro entender or comprender
that is easily understood → eso se entiende fácilmente
I don't want to hear another word about it, (is that) understood? → no quiero que se hable más del tema, ¿entendido or comprendido?
the process is still not fully understood → el proceso todavía no se comprende or entiende del todo
doctors are still trying to understand the disease → los médicos siguen intentando comprender la enfermedad
it must be understood that → debe entenderse que ...
you must understand that we're very busy → debes entender or comprender que estamos muy ocupados
to understand how/why → entender or comprender cómo/por qué
did I understand you correctly? → ¿te entendí bien?
to make o.s. understood → hacerse entender
he was trying to make himself understood → estaba intentando hacerse entender
do I make myself understood? → ¿queda claro?
his wife doesn't understand him → su mujer no le comprende or entiende
she understands children → comprende or entiende a los niños
we understand one another → nos comprendemos or entendemos
I (fully) understand your position → comprendo or entiendo (totalmente) su posición
I quite understand that you don't want to come → me hago cargo de que no quieres venir
he can't understand a word of Spanish → no entiende ni una palabra de español
I understand you have been absent → tengo entendido que usted ha estado ausente
as I understand it, he's trying to set up a meeting → según tengo entendido or según creo está intentando convocar una reunión
it's understood that he had a heart attack → se piensa or cree que sufrió un infarto
am I to understand that ...? → ¿debo entender que ...?
we confirm our reservation and we understand (that) the rental will be 500 euros → confirmamos nuestra reserva y entendemos que el alquiler será de 500 euros
to give sb to understand that → dar a algn a entender que
we were given to understand that → se nos dio a entender que ...
it was understood that he would pay for it → se dio por sentado que él lo pagaría
he let it be understood that → dio a entender que ...
do you understand? → ¿entiendes or comprendes?
now I understand! → ¡ahora entiendo!, ¡ahora comprendo!
there's to be no noise, (do you) understand? → que no haya ruido, ¿entiendes or comprendes?
understand[ˌʌndərˈstænd] [understood] (pt, pp)
I don't understand this word → Je ne comprends pas ce mot.
Do you understand German? → Vous comprenez l'allemand?
Is that understood? → C'est compris?
to make o.s. understood → se faire comprendre
They are too young to understand what is going on → Ils sont trop jeunes pour comprendre ce qui se passe.
His wife doesn't understand him → Sa femme ne le comprend pas.
My husband and I understand each other very well → Nous nous comprenons très bien mon mari et moi
I understand that she has several aunts → Je crois comprendre qu'elle a plusieurs tantes.
it is understood that ... → il est entendu que ...
he is understood to be in Italy → il serait apparemment en Italie
to give sb to understand that → laisser entendre à qn que
I was given to understand that ... → on m'a laissé entendre que ...
I thought it was understood you wouldn't come after midnight → Je croyais qu'il était entendu que vous ne viendriez pas après minuit.
No names were mentioned, everything was understood
BUT Aucun nom n'a été mentionné, tout s'est dit à mots couverts.
understandpret, ptp <understood>
understand[ˌʌndəˈstænd] (understood (pt, pp))
to make o.s. understood → farsi capire
I can't understand a word of it → non ci capisco un'acca
I don't understand why ... → non capisco perché...
she understands children → capisce i bambini
we understand one another → ci capiamo (tra di noi)
he doesn't understand how I feel → non mi capisce quello che provo
I can understand his wanting to go → posso ben capire il suo desiderio di andarsene
is that understood? → è chiaro?
I wish it to be understood that ... → vorrei che fosse chiaro che...
understood! (agreed) → intesi!
we understood we were to be paid → a quanto avevamo capito dovevamo essere pagati
I understand you have been absent → mi risulta che lei è stato assente
it's understood that ... → resta inteso che...
he let it be understood that he was leaving → ha dato a intendere che stava per partire
she is understood to be ill → pare che stia poco bene