HomeQ&Aif "understand" is comprender, why is entender used?

if "understand" is comprender, why is entender used?

4
votes

I asked what the word for "understand" is. The answer said "comprender" was the answer but all of the examples used the verb "entender". Why is a different word used?

What's the difference between comprender and entende in terms of definition AND usage?

Pardon the pun but, I don't understand.

7275 views
updated MAR 15, 2010
posted by way2funky

3 Answers

7
votes

Welcome to the forum!

Both mean "to understand", but "entender" also has shades of hearing someone correctly. For example, if you didn't understand something because a train went by or the other person was mumbling, you would say "Lo siento, no entendí tu pregunta", meaning you didn't understand the question because you didn't hear it. Another verb that means this same thing is "captar". "Lo siento, pero no captaste lo que te dije?" means "I'm sorry, but didn't you catch what I said to you?"

On the other hand "No entendí la pregunta" can also mean "I didn't understand your question" in the sense that I have no base of knowledge. "No comprendí tu pregunta" also means "I didn't understand your question" in the sense that I have no base of knowledge.

entender, captar - to understand, to catch

entender, comprender - to understand, to comprehend

I hope this has helped!

updated MAR 14, 2010
posted by mountaingirl123
Great info on the shades of meaning. - Goyo, MAR 14, 2010
Yes, very good explanation. - alba3, MAR 14, 2010
4
votes

Just think of "comprender" as comprehend

and

entender as understand

updated MAR 14, 2010
posted by ian-hill
4
votes

I think that ian is right. But we don't actually use the word "comprehend" often in English but in Spanish both words are used. We wouldn't say, "I comprehend" but Spanish-speakers will say "Comprendo" and they will also say "Entiendo" and both would translate to "I understand." I think that they are used interchangeably.

updated MAR 14, 2010
posted by alba3
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