When I explain something to my friend and I want to make sure they got what I said, what should I say?

  • "Do you understand?"
  • "Did you understand?"
  • "Have you understood?"


  • All of the answers seem condescending or confrontational. How do teachers do it? – Mitch Mar 31 '11 at 14:06
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    @Mitch: "Any questions?" – MrHen Mar 31 '11 at 14:59
  • is this correct "Did you understood"! . if its wrong can any one explain why? – Eka Jan 25 '15 at 15:16

Any of the examples you provided would work, but note that they could appear condescending depending on the context - like you were speaking to your friend as if you were expecting him not to understand at all.

Something more informal and deferential, at least in the United States, would be did you get all of that? or can I make anything more clear?


Any of these. Colloquially, the question is most commonly


and the reply


You can also ask


and this has a slightly different connotation from "Understand?", but I'm struggling to work out what the difference is. I'll come back and edit this if I work it out.

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    The most common colloquially where I am from is "does that make sense?" or "make sense?" It is less confrontational than "understand" (maybe it implies that, if the listener doesn't understand, it is because the speaker was not making any sense). – Kosmonaut Mar 31 '11 at 12:01
  • @Cosmonaut: Yes, I think you're right. I think the use of "understand?" (and even more, "understood?"), though colloquial, is only used when there is a power relationship - the higher status talking to the lower. – Colin Fine Mar 31 '11 at 15:41

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