If someone tells you an instruction/order, can you answer with 'Understood', rather than 'I understand'? I felt like I heard that being used, but I'm not so sure.

  • You probably could however I can only imagine someone saying understood, if they are in the army or talking to someone who is of high power like a general or something. If you are talking to your friend and you say "understood" that sounds a bit odd imo
    – bobbin
    Jan 6, 2019 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


"Be sure to clean up after yourself."

In this exchange, understood is not being used as a short form of I understand. Instead, it's being used as a short form of something else.

"✘ (I) underst(and)."
"✔ (It is) understood."
"✔ (I have) understood."

The full version of the sentence is assumed to exist, even though it's not actually being spoken. Either of the full versions will work in the context.

Similarly, I hear kitchen staff shouting "Heard!" in response to head chefs reciting orders. (At least that's what I've heard on cooking shows on TV.)

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