Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage reads

There is some justification in Sir Ernest Gowers’ suggestion that it is best to avoid using the construction appreciate followed by a how or a that clause.

Why is it so?

  • 2
    If you continue reading after your quoted part, there are several examples given.
    – JMB
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 18:24
  • You need to post examples, obviously.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


A reprint of the 1983 paperback edition says:

"appreciate is overworked as a synonym of understand or recognize in official and business letters, especially in It is appreciated that to introduce a recognition of the point of view of the person addressed or you will appreciate that to ask him to recognize the writer's. This tendency to wander can be restrained by using the word only with a noun as its object.

  • In particular it's worse than "sympathise", "understand", "realise", etc, which express that the writer is properly aware of the reader's concerns and is not making the decision lightly. "Appreciate" has connotations of thinking something is good - compare "I appreciate that your father is dead", "I appreciate the music of Beethoven".
    – Stuart F
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 15:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .