How do you say I understand in Italian?

How exactly do you say I understand in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different ways you can translate this sentence into Italian. Read on to learn them all!

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How do you say I understand in Italian?

Capisco

Pronunciation: Cah-peas-koh

Capisco
I understand

Non capisco!
I don’t understand!

mother and daughter talking

If you are familiar with Italian verb tenses, you will probably already know the present tense conjugation of the verb capire, meaning to understand, shown below. This is an irregular verb.

Present tense conjugation for capire

iocapisco
tucapisci
lui, leicapisce
noicapiamo
voicapite
lorocapiscono

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Language: English / Italian
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Pages: 672

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For example, you could say:

Ti capisco, anch’io ho avuto lo stesso tuo problema.
I understand you, I had the same problem as you.

Stephen non capisce bene l’italiano. Devi parlare più lentamente.
Stephen doesn’t understand Italian well. You need to speak more slowly.

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Now, you will also be aware of that Italian subject pronouns, unlike English, can be omitted in the sentence. That is, you can do without them altogether and the subject will be understood without any problem.

This is because the Italian verb endings are different for all subjects in every verb tense, so there can’t be any confusion as to what the subject is even if it’s implied.

Leaving a subject pronoun in a sentence often sounds unnatural. For example, we never translate I understand in Italian as io capisco, unless we are trying to stress the subject, as in…

Io capisco quello che vuoi dire, davvero, ma non approvo comunque il tuo comportamento.
I do understand what you mean, I really do, but I still don’t approve of your behavior.

Which could also be translated as simply capisco quello che […]. The io just adds more weight like in the English verb to do.

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Comprendo

Pronunciation: Com-prehn-doh

Comprendo
I understand

Comprendo comes from the verb comprendere, meaning to comprehend or to understand.

In the daily language it’s used as a less common way to translate to understand in Italian, but its deeper meaning is somewhat different.

Capire is best used for concepts that have to do with the mind (to discern the meaning of the words in a sentence, for example), while comprendere is related to life experiences (to understand the reasons behind someone’s behavior, to show empathy).

boy repeating what he hears on the phone

Comprendo la sua fretta. Stiamo cercando di risolvere il problema il prima possibile.
I understand you, I had the same problem as you.

And that’s it, now you know how to say I understand in Italian in all its forms!


What next?

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