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give someone to understand something

to explain something to someone; to imply something to someone. (Possibly misleading someone, accidentally or intentionally. See also given to understand.) Mr. Smith gave Sally to understand that she should be home by midnight. The mayor gave the citizens to understand that there would be no tax increase. He didn't promise, though.
See also: give, understand

given to understand

[of someone] made to believe [something]. (See also give someone to understand.) They were given to understand that there would be no tax increase, but after the election taxes went up. She was given to understand that she had to be home by midnight.
See also: given, understand

I don't understand (it).

 and I can't understand (it).
I am confused and bewildered (by what has happened). Bill: Everyone is leaving the party. Mary: I don't understand. It's still so early. Bob: The very idea, Sue and Tom doing something like that! Alice: It's very strange. I can't understand it.
See also: understand

give to understand

Lead one to think, as in I was given to understand that the President was coming here. [Mid-1500s]
See also: give, understand
References in periodicals archive ?
Wolin's account of Calvin repeats this theme because he thinks Calvin, in contrast to Machiavelli and Hobbes, understood that the power of a community if it is not repressive requires active membership (171).
The episode opens with the introduction of two unknown characters who, by context, are understood to be followers of Jesus.
We also need to make sure that the results are clearly communicated and understood by the team so that the best business decisions can be made.
Rather, their article suggests that reductionism, properly understood, poses little danger.
Shifts in the religious landscape were accompanied by shifts in how people understood their bodies.
Quantitative research as understood and described by quantitative researchers is very different from the same phenomenon as understood and described by proponents of qualitative research.
From this point of view nothing is ever completely misunderstood, nor is it ever fully understood.
Two-thirds of both older and younger children understood false belief, the researchers report.
A shift into the other person's paradigm gives a whole new view of the issues and allows internal motivation to occur through being understood and through learning.
As DNB looked to upgrade their voice network, they felt it was important to work with a technology provider that understood the needs of the banking industry and not just the technology itself.
After the cultural presentations, the instructor will show a videotape of American culture relevant to the theme and ask them to write a short reflection/discussion in order to assess the degree to which they understood the similarities and differences between the two cultures.
The mechanisms by which PM, or other air pollutants, cause adverse health effects are not yet adequately understood.
With such consistent presentation of the theme message to customers, there is a greater likelihood that the value proposition will be received, understood and appreciated by customers.
To the extent that congregations are relatively new on the religious landscape, historically speaking, so too is the notion of "family," at least the way it has become popularly understood and idealized in this America.
These educators understood mathematics as both basic calculations skills and problem-solving.