Please imagine a person who lacks quite common sense and often acts in silly ways in various conditions. They have a low aptitude and wisdom and in general a dumb guy who can be easily considered an imbecile. Once when as usual the guy in our question upsets someone else, the annoyed one goes to someone who knows the guy and relates the whole story. The third person gets angry and wants to tell something about the guy. I have translated it to English. Please have a look on it and then let me know if it is natural. If not, then please let me know how a native speaker would say the same thing:

  • He is stupid. Don’t get upset. One cannot expect him more than this.

This is his understanding degree.

This is his aptitude degree.

This is his wisdom degree.

Searching a lot, I didn't find any better words rather than the above listed ones to indicate the same message as we use in our language, but I doubt which one shall be used here to sound natural or are they natural at all or not?

  • We'd say "That's the extent of his understanding|aptitude|wisdom " , meaning it does not reach any further. Using these nouns attributively with "degree" would be unidiomatic. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 26 '17 at 13:22
  • 1
    You could use, 'his degree of understanding", or "to the extent that he understands". Are you looking for an explanation of the shades of difference between your three words? – WRX Jan 26 '17 at 16:24
  • @WillowRex it would be very helpful. :) – A-friend Jan 26 '17 at 16:43

Let us see how the three words are different.


This word is defined as mental process of a person who comprehends. Understanding of something is based on knowledge. It is based on facts.

Example : My understanding of this problem is erroneous.


This word is defined as knowledge of what is true or right. Wisdom is based on previous experience, scholarly learning or insight.

Example : Respect the wisdom of your forefathers.


This word is defined as acquired or innate capacity for something. Similar to talent. It describes how apt (suited) a person is in his field.

Example : I have a special aptitude for biology.


“aptitude”, “wisdom” and “understanding” all quoted material is from Google Dictionary (you simply type the word + definition into Google search: example: wisdom definition)


noun 1. a natural ability to do something. "he had a remarkable aptitude for learning words" 2. archaic suitability or fitness. "aptitude of expression"

So aptitude means he was born with an ability to do this thing. Like a natural athlete has an aptitude for her sport.


noun: the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise. synonyms: sagacity, intelligence, sense, common sense, shrewdness, astuteness, smartness, judiciousness, judgment, prudence, circumspection; More the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. "some questioned the wisdom of building the dam so close to an active volcano" synonyms: sagacity, intelligence, sense, common sense, shrewdness, astuteness, smartness, judiciousness, judgment, prudence, circumspection; More the body of knowledge and principles that develops within a specified society or period.

plural noun: wisdoms "the traditional farming wisdom of India"

synonyms: knowledge, learning, erudition, sophistication, scholarship, philosophy; lore "the wisdom of tradition"

This means learned smarts. We gain wisdom through experience.


noun 1. the ability to understand something; comprehension. "foreign visitors with little understanding of English" synonyms: comprehension, apprehension, grasp, mastery, appreciation, assimilation, absorption; More


  1. sympathetically aware of other people's feelings; tolerant and forgiving. "people expect their doctor to be understanding" synonyms: compassionate, sympathetic, sensitive, considerate, tender, kind, thoughtful, tolerant, patient, forbearing, lenient, merciful, forgiving, humane; More

  2. archaic having insight or good judgment.

Understanding means getting the information and being able to use it or explain it to another person so that they can explain it or use it.

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