When someone explained something to me and I understood the explanation, does it sound ok to reply "Understood."?

Example 1
A: He will come late to the office today due to a delay of the train.
B: OK, understood.

Example 2
A. Please ask Mr. XX about it because he's in charge of it.
B. Understood. Thanks.

As you can see, I assume a situation where A is not telling an order or an instruction, but more just information.

An English teacher told me that it might contain some negative implication that I have no other choices but to understand it as told. Do you agree?

And how about saying "I see." in the same contexts?

1 Answer 1


There is no ambiguity, you convey that you have heard and believe that you have understood the information. However, to use a single word in this way, rather than a complete sentence can be seen as quite informal. If speaking you should ensure that your tone of voice does not become dismissive or disrespectful - it's all too easy to seem brusque or uncaring.

In a situation of any importance I would take care to respond more carefully and attempt to convey what it is that I have understood.

Bill's train is delayed, he will be late.

Thanks for letting me know, I will work on XXX while I wait for him.

Or for your other example

Please ask Mr X

Thanks, I will send him an email and let you know what he says.

Here, I'm not repeating back the exact information but I hope making it clear that I'm taking specific action on the information received. In more complex situations I would make a point of saying exactly what I'm doing.

  • Thank you very much for your clear explanation. I'm very happy if you could answer to my additional question, how about saying "I see." in the same contexts?
    – Ye Wenjie
    Sep 2, 2020 at 5:37
  • 1
    To my ears "I see" feels less complete than "understood", I feel that I want to add a "then I will do XXX:" to the end. This might be my personal preference. I'm relatively old (69) and maybe I'm old fashioned, perhaps younger people would see this differently.
    – djna
    Sep 2, 2020 at 5:45

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