Is it correct to say "understood question" as well as "understandable question"?

Someone wrote me it and I'm not sure if it is mistake or another variant.

The context is: " It is an understood sentence."

  • Was it in note-form, as in "(I) understood (the) question, (and I ) sent (an) answer"?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 17:20
  • I just added now the context to the post: "It is an understood sentence" Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 17:26
  • Hm, "It is a *well-**understood question/sentence" would be fine. With just *understood on its own, it's a little awkward.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 17:28
  • I've heard this structure but not in a context like this. "E.G. How, at the molecular level, the myriad cell types in an organism manage to stably preserve their distinct identities is an important but poorly understood question in biology.SOURCE: Human Molecular Genetics" And as you see, it's very commonly used after the adverb "poorly" E.G Poorly understood questions, underutilized rating scale categories can seriously impair the accuracy and reliability of PRO measurements"or "One poorly understood question is the role of BACE1 in the brain, target organ of BACE1 inhibitors"
    – a.RR
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 16:17

2 Answers 2


It is an understood sentence.

is certainly not idiomatic. without additional context I am not clear what the intended meaning is, but whatever it is there is almost surely a better way to say it.

As LawrenceC's answer explains, "understood" can mean "implied, but not stated" but "It is an understood sentence." would not be a natural way to describe a sentence that was implied but not explicitly said.

If the meaning is that someone was able to understand the sentence, that could be phrased as:

It was an understandable sentence

or perhaps

It was clear that the sentence could be understood.

"Understood can also mean "known, with reasons and explanations that are also known" as mentioned in the comment by AmirhoseinRiazi

The interaction of smell with memory is poorly understood

The effect of friction on motion is well-understood.

The circulation of the blood was not understood by the ancient Greeks.

This use does not seem to be what the question intends.


Understood means not only "was able to receive the meaning" but can also mean "not expressed, assumed."

It's been understood we don't talk to Mike (we didn't talk about not talking to Mike, we just assumed we should not and did not).

This is different from understandable which means "able to be interpreted or get the meaning."

I understood you didn't want me to talk to Mike (I told you this and you are acknowledging you know what I mean).

If you want to say "able to be interpreted or get the meaning" the word understandable is better.

  • So to say "It is an understood sentence", considered correct? Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 17:26

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