Will I use ‘Understand?’ or ‘Understood’?
Both understand and understood are grammatically correct. The one that you have to use depends on what you want to say.
Understand is the present tense verb. If you are talking about something that you learn or know now, you can use understand. For the third person (he, she, it) you would need to add an -s to the end to make understands.
- I understand why I need to exercise if I want to lose weight.
- She understands the reason that her brother is angry with her.
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Understood is the past tense verb, the past participle, and the adjective. There are several instances that you would use this word. For example, if you are talking about something that you learned or knew in the past, you could say that someone understood it. If you use the present or past perfect tenses, you could say that “someone has or had understood.” In addition, if someone tells you something, you could reply that what they told you is understood. Take these examples:
- When I told my sister about what to do in college, I thought that she understood.
- At one time, I had understood that, but it is confusing for me once again.
- Everybody shakes hands with each other when they first meet each other in the United States, so hand shaking is an understood method of communication.