Imagine two people are talking about something privately and someone else just passes through the way they are staying and unwantedly, hears an important issue from among their' words, but does not show that he / she heard it and goes away. One of them says:

  • I know that he / she heard what you said, but he / she didn’t....................it.

which choice would be a more natural one in this self-made sentence of mine?

a) acknowledge

b) show

c) demonstrate

d) let on it / let it on

  • You could simply rephrase the sentence to make things easier! Dec 4, 2016 at 15:28
  • The idiomatic way to use "let on" is just to say "let on"; it doesn't take an object, so it would just be "...but he didn't let on." If you need to specify what it was he wasn't showing, you would phrase it like "but he didn't let on that he had heard."
    – stangdon
    Dec 4, 2016 at 17:12
  • You already said show " but does not show that he / she heard it and goes away", so why not b?
    – user3169
    Dec 5, 2016 at 6:28
  • @user3169 I know 'b' works here properly, but actually, I was going to know if the other choices work or not. :)
    – A-friend
    Dec 6, 2016 at 12:37
  • 1
    Then you should consider the definitions of a and c, as they don't really fit this scenario. Then add additional details if it is not clear. d is incorrect because we only say "let on", not "let on it".
    – user3169
    Dec 6, 2016 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


I think that "show" is more natural because demonstrate is when you prove that you know something for example:the manager demonstrated the truth of the statistics.

  • What about the choices 'a' and 'd'?
    – A-friend
    Dec 4, 2016 at 13:38
  • I am not sure about that.I just feel that show is better, acknowledge is physical, She refused to acknowledge my presence.
    – yaC
    Dec 4, 2016 at 13:43

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