1 Vote

How do I say 'I don't understand' in Spanish?

  • Welcome to the forum! - pesta Jan 21, 2011 flag
  • You must punctuate your sentence. Capital letter at the beginning and "I," is always in capitals. Don't forget the question mark! - Don_José Jan 22, 2011 flag
  • Hi there, I changed the punctuation for you, Alex. - afowen Jan 22, 2011 flag

8 Answers

3 Vote

You can get this answer quickly and easily with the "Translation" link at the top of the page. It works really well for short phrases and simple sentences that don't use odd idioms.

You want to spell your English correctly, though, as the translator won't understand "dont" that way. smile

2 Vote

Another option is "Yo no comprendo." If you don't get a detailed enough answer with the "Translation" engine, try putting the word into "Dictionary". This gives fully fleshed-out definitions in great detail, even putting the word in sentences for your edification. Good luck in future!

  • You'd only add the 'yo' if you want to stress the the fact that it is you that does not understand. Similar to how you might stress the word 'I' in English. - afowen Jan 22, 2011 flag
2 Vote

I'm learning Spanish....but have been told that

no comprendo...relates to subjects...like math, science etc. and no entiendo...relates to language...like not understanding what someone is saying

Hopefully a native speaker will see my post and set us straight or let us know if I have been told correctly...smile


  • No comprendo is like more formal. Both mean the same. - Cabeza_215 Jan 22, 2011 flag
  • Cabeza: Si, tienes razón. Creo que estamos de acuerdo en que la forma más usual es decir: "no entiendo". - Agora Jan 22, 2011 flag
1 Vote

No entiendo.

1 Vote

If somebody wants to say: "I barely understand Spanish" a good way to say it would be: "Entiendo escasamente el español"

"Escasamente" would take the meaning of "barely".

No lo entiendo - I don't understand it

No entiendo español - I do not understand spanish.

0 Vote

I think no entiendo or no comprendo is how it is commonly stated, but looking at it I'm wondering why it is not "No lo entiendo" or "No lo comprendo" as Spanish usually doesn't leave the verb bare, having the listener to ask himself "you don't understand WHAT?" (No comprendo nada, esto, cualquiera cosa.....)

In such situations I thought the "detransitizing se" was normally used. No me comprendo. No me entiendo.

I don't know why these statements are different. A little help from a native?

0 Vote

i think it's be better to say: no hablo espanol

  • Well, sometimes you cannot speak, but you do understand. This could be the case of an avid reader in spanish without the ability to articulate it in speech. - Agora Jan 22, 2011 flag
0 Vote

I personally go by a rule of thumb of using "no entiendo" over "no comprendo" as a response. I feel like by saying "no entiendo" you are putting the blame on yourself in not understanding what was said to you, while with "no comprendo" the blame is put on the party who said something, being misunderstood because of unclear speech, thick accent, slang, etc. I don't know if any natives share the same view, but I've had it for a long time already that I'm no longer sure if it was either passed on to me by a professor or if I thought of it myself. LOL

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