1

It is absolutely common in Malaysia, especially within a large community here, to use the phrase "I was made to understand ...." It can be heard in daily conversations as well as as read it in formal written pieces.

Examples:

  1. I was made to understand that the flight will be delayed due to the bad weather conditions.

  2. I was made to understand that your hotel does not have family suites.

While most people here understand the meaning and why this phrase is used, I would like to ask if peoples in other parts of the world understand it. What is your interpretation when you hear this phrase?

  • 2
    It is due to the influence of the native idiom. In the English language, we usually say given to understand, instead as Mick noted. More commonly, we just say "I understand that ..." to mean the same thing. HTH. – Kris Oct 25 '16 at 7:36
  • See also English Language Learners – Kris Oct 25 '16 at 7:37
  • Thanks. It's so common and acceptable to use it here nowadays. When this phrase was first used, I felt it was funny. – G Phan Oct 26 '16 at 8:57
5

In BrE, "made to understand" sounds as if someone has been abusive to you. "Led to understand" is more usual. "Given to understand" is old-fashioned (and rather formal) but will make you sound well-educated (at least, in the UK). Of course, you could just use "I understand that...", which is probably the most common way of putting it.

  • I was led to understand that your hotel does not have family suites.
  • I was given to understand that your hotel does not have family suites.
  • I understand that your hotel does not have family suites.

Collins English Dictionary: give someone to understand

  • 3
    Yes. Made to understand... implies a disciplinary action has taken place (not necessarily abusive). The footballer was made to understand that the referee would not tolerate use of the elbow, by being given a yellow card. – WS2 Oct 25 '16 at 6:42

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