My diary has just reminded me something.

It happened to me more than a few times when I said "As I understand it",
and some people would perceive it as "Because I understand it" and then they just mistook me as conceited.

We learned the difference between past tense and past participle in the English class some time ago. Each of us was given a piece of worksheet to see whether we understood the lesson. Here was the most difficult question.
He ___ the work before we got there.
(1). had started
(2). started

When I was talking with my classmates about the above question, I said, "As I understand it, option (1) is the right one, because...", and then our English teacher popped up all of a sudden and spoke to me very loudly with her speech like this, "Do not think you have understood it, you pxxxy..."

I am wondering if there are any other ways of saying "As I understand it" so as to avoid any unexpected mistakes.
Will the meaning remain unchanged if I add some more words to it like this?
(1). As the way I understand it...
(2). As far as I understand it...

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    "in my understanding", "in my opinion", "to my mind", "speaking for myself", "it seems to me that".. Type any of these phrases into Google and add "synonyms", and it will lead you to a numbef of pages. (0: Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 17:08
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    I think you should discuss this more with your teacher. It is your understanding, right or wrong. "Because I understand it" would be a factual statement, though.
    – user3169
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 17:21
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    Also, I think your teacher is a jerk, or maybe doesn't understand the phrase very well himself (or herself). "As I understand it" simply means, "I believe it to be this way". There's nothing particularly conceited about it. If anything, it might be the opposite of conceited, since you are saying, essentially, "If I am correct about this..."
    – stangdon
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 17:43
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    @stangdon - in some dialects, it seems, the word as is used to reflect the meaning "because", "since". I've corrected a relative living in India several times when she used as this way. Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 17:46
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    @CopperKettle - That's very interesting; thanks for that piece of information. I should have considered that it might be a dialect difference. In American English (and I believe in British English as well) as does not ever imply because in this context. It can in some other contexts - for example, "I will not be able to come to your party, as I will be in Bolivia that week" - but not in this one.
    – stangdon
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


"As I understand it" is a more-or-less unnecessary phrase that just hedges your statement in case it's wrong. You could just leave it out entirely, because in this context, of course your answer to a question is going to be based on your personal understanding. You could also say:

  • I believe it's...
  • I think it's...
  • From my understanding...
  • If I understood correctly...

Also, the question your teacher presented doesn't have an unambiguous answer without context - both could be correct.

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