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Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

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May 31, 2013

Comments

Cathy Miller

So glad you passed the test, Lynn. ☺

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Yes, me too!

As always, I appreciate your stopping by, Cathy.

Lynn

Lindsey

I was born and raised in the Midwest, but I lived in Paris for two years so I know it is common to say "Merci de votre compréhension" in French. Since I am used to seeing that sentence, the cross-cultural translation you mentioned doesn't sound that strange to me! It's frightening how these things sink in and erode my ability to judge the quality of a sentence written in my native language.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Lindsey. Thanks for sharing your experience. It is a good reminder of the challenges of people who speak across languages. I have heard Spanish speakers say "The window gives to the avenue." The words are perfect in Spanish, but in English they confuse us.

Lynn

César Cuevas

Hello Lynn. For spanish speakers "thank you for your comprehension" sounds natural.

"comprehension" sounds like "comprensión" in spanish, that means kind of "understanding" in english.

Kind regards.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello, César. Thank you for your helpful comment.

Lynn

Jennifer Conway

I'm still getting caught up on Lynn's blog entries that I missed while on an unexpected, extended medical leave, so pardon my delayed response.

I love the nuances of language. With that explained, I interpret(comprehend, if you will) "comprehension" and "understanding" differently with agreement (sort of) from Merriam-Webster. Comprehension is an act or action of grasping with intellect. Understanding is sympathetic comprehension, so understanding can be both an intellectual and emotional response. "Thank you for your comprehension" I interpreted as "You need the ring the bell if you want to get in." "Thank you for your understanding" I interpreted as "You need to ring the bell if you want to get in, and we appreciate your patience for having to do so."

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Jennifer. Thanks for your perceptive comment. Which do you think the people at the hotel in Luxemburg intended--comprehension or understanding?

Lynn

Elvio

It is natural for Portuguese speakers (I'm brazilian) too.
"comprehension" -> "compreensão"
It's very common on signs in Brazil.

I'm late, I know.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Thanks for commenting, Elvio. I believe the writer meant "Thank you for understanding" rather than "Thank you for comprehending." The words in English have a slightly different meaning in this context. At least I believe they do.

Lynn

adebisi

Hi,
comprehension means understanding. To comprehend a context is to understand...they are just mere synonyms. Thee use is appropriate or correct.


com·pre·hend
ˌkämprəˈhend/
verb
1.
grasp mentally; understand.
"he couldn't comprehend her reasons for marrying Lovat"
synonyms: understand, grasp, take in, see, apprehend, follow, make sense of, fathom, get to the bottom of; More
2.
formal
include, comprise, or encompass.
"a divine order comprehending all men"
synonyms: comprise, include, encompass, embrace, involve, contain
"a divine order comprehending all men"

adebisi

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello Adebisi,

The expression "Thank you for understanding" has a special meaning that "Thank you for your comprehension" does not convey--despite the dictionary definitions.

Read Jennifer's comment above for details.

Lynn

Ana

Thanks God I find this post. I am not good in English and I am writing a business letter. I would write "I thank you very much for your comprehension". So I decided to make a search on google and I find this wonderful post.
I dream to be fluent in English, but living in a country that does not speak English it is difficult
Congrats for you, guys.

Ana

Thank you, Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Ana, you are very welcome!

Lynn

Peggy

Hello, can I say: 'Thanks for your understanding' at the end of an email to a client? Thanks in advance for your help!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Peggy,

Yes, you can write that sentence. Your sentence suggests acceptance and patience rather than knowledge.

Lynn

polly

Thank you for understanding

Anders

Wonderful post this. I have recently used the abovementioned "thank you for your understanding" in an e-mail to a business contact. To me it doesn't "feel" right to use comprehension, as this doesn't connote the same empathy. I did wonder, however, whether or not to use Capital "Y" for you and your. To much of a good thing?

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Anders,

Your instincts are good. The correct capitalization is this:

Thank you for your understanding.

Lynn

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