If both sentences below are grammatically correct, are there any differences between them?

(1) I understood that as your question.

(2) I understood that to be your question.

  • The second is grammatical and idiomatic. The first is rarely used, judging by the scarcity of examples on the internet (the undeleted 'And Pope Francis understood that as being the mandate on which he was elected' is one of the handful I could find), but it doesn't seem ungrammatical to me. I'd say they are almost exactly synonymous. Perhaps exactly synonymous. But I'd stick with the idiomatic one. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 18 '18 at 10:14

The difference I see between the two statements is when the question was asked. The word 'that' references something which recently and previously occurred. I am assuming this statement is in response to someone else's question. In your first option, 'as' indicates/hints the question has been asked before the current conversation. The person expected an answer by now and in inquiring why they have not gotten their answer. In the second option, 'to be' indicates the question has just been asked and you have not had the expected time to answer.

I have made several assumptions here. The surrounding conversation would help to clarify your question, thus enabling better answers.

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