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Is It Correct To Say, “I Appreciate Your Understanding”?

Sometimes we need special accommodations because of events or circumstances. Often we need to explain what happened so we can receive adjustments. In these cases, it is essential to let others know you are grateful for their help. You can do this by saying, “I appreciate your understanding.”

It is correct to say “I appreciate your understanding” to politely let someone know you are thankful they understand your need and are helping you. For instance, when a teacher offers you an extension for an assignment, you can say, “I appreciate your understanding,” to thank them for their help in your circumstances. 

What Does “I Appreciate Your Understanding” Mean?

We say, “I appreciate your understanding,” to let someone know we are thankful for their willingness to help us in a difficult situation. It is a polite expression of gratitude acknowledging that someone has gone out of their way to assist us. 

The word “appreciate” is a verb that means to recognize the worth or value of something with gratitude (source). For instance, if you receive an expensive and thoughtful gift, you might say, “I appreciate your gift,” to let the giver know you understand the value and thought behind the item. 

“Understanding” can be a noun or an adjective. In this case, it is a noun meaning conscious knowledge or mental comprehension (source). So when someone is very good at math, you could tell them they have an excellent understanding of the subject. 

When you add the pronouns “I” and “your” to say “I appreciate your understanding,” you are acknowledging that someone is giving you something special. You also imply that they are the agent, or person, intelligent enough to comprehend the need arising from your situation (source).

Using “your” expresses gratitude directly to the person helping you, emphasizing the value you see in their help. This is important because sometimes it can be challenging for someone to make changes to give you the support you need. In addition, it helps them to know you value their hard work. 

How Do You Use “I Appreciate Your Understanding”?

“I appreciate your understanding” is an independent sentence you can use to express thankfulness in specific circumstances of exceptional help. For example, after someone assists you, you can say, “I appreciate your understanding,” to show you are grateful

Many times we find ourselves in circumstances that are not normal. In these cases, we often need extra help from someone. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for others to help us because what we need isn’t always easy to accommodate.

Acknowledging the challenge of assisting differently than the standard accommodation is essential. When we receive that help, we must be polite by letting people know we are grateful, specifically the person who helped us. Saying “I appreciate your understanding” is a great way to do this.

When Can You Use “I Appreciate Your Understanding”?

You can use “I appreciate your understanding” any time you have extraordinary circumstances for which you need accommodation or adjustment. You can say it to show your thankfulness. 

You might have situations where you need something extra at work, school, home, shopping, or completing official business (like getting a passport or student visa extended). You can use “I appreciate your understanding” in any of these circumstances. 

For example, if you have a busy week at school, you might explain to your teacher that you do not think you can complete an assignment on time. If they give you a few extra days to complete the task, you are receiving help that no one else is getting. You can say, “I appreciate your understanding.” 

Another time you might say it is at work. Perhaps your supervisor asks you to do a job you have never done before, and you would like someone knowledgeable to complete the task with you a few times. If you ask for this and receive it, you can say, “I appreciate your understanding,” to let your boss know you value the extra resources they give you. 

At home, your parents might require you to do chores to help out. If you get hurt while playing a sport and cannot complete the chores, you might need your parents to accommodate you by doing your work. You can tell them you are grateful for their help by saying, “I appreciate your understanding.”

Similarly, you may have made a mistake you know will result in punishment. If, after explaining your regret, you do not receive punishment, you can let the authorities (your parents, principals, or some other authority) know how grateful you are by saying, “I appreciate your understanding.”

Frequency of Use

There are so many instances where we might need to politely show our appreciation for special help that we can use “I appreciate your understanding” regularly. It is a great way to let others know how grateful you are.

However, you should be wary of using it so often that it loses its sincerity. Just as saying, “Thank you so much,” begins to sound insincere when you overuse it, you can come across as ingenuine if you say “I appreciate your understanding” multiple times a day.

Using “I Appreciate Your Understanding” In a Full Sentence

“I appreciate your understanding” is a complete sentence with a subject, a verb, and a complete thought, so you do not need to add any words. However, you can provide more context by adding phrases to the beginning or end of this sentence. 

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If, for example, you receive a room on the top floor of a hotel with no elevator but you need a room on the ground floor because you have a wheelchair, you need special accommodations. The following examples show how you can respond to the hotel clerk once they change your room:

  • I appreciate your understanding.
  • It isn’t always easy to shift reservations around, so I appreciate your understanding.
  • I appreciate your understanding because it isn’t always easy to shift reservations. 

The first response can stand alone because it is a complete sentence. The second and third responses let the person know you are grateful for their help, which was not easy to accomodate. This provides context and tells them you understand the value of their actions.

Similarly, if your boss asks you to complete a job for which your current computer is too old and slow, you need to ask for money to get a new computer. When they approve the expense, you can let them know you are thankful with any of these sentences: 

  • I appreciate your understanding. 
  • I know the budget is tight, so I appreciate your understanding. 
  • I appreciate your understanding despite the tight budget. 

In addition, if you have done something at school that is usually punishable by suspension and your principal recognizes your remorse by giving you a warning instead, you should let them know how grateful you are for the second chance. You can say: 

  • I appreciate your understanding. 
  • I appreciate your understanding of my regret and for giving me a second chance. 
  • I know I deserve a suspension, so I appreciate your understanding. 

All of these examples are acceptable, and you can decide to use more context or less depending on your circumstances.

When Not to Use “I Appreciate Your Understanding”

You do not say “I appreciate your understanding” when someone does not understand your situation or cannot offer you special help or accommodations because there is no help to be grateful for. 

Sometimes, people do not understand your special circumstances or needs, so they are unwilling to help you. In this case, you don’t tell them you appreciate their understanding because they do not comprehend your need. 

At other times, a person does understand your circumstances but cannot help you. They may not have the authority to give you what you need, or they may not have the resources. In this case, even though they understand, they take no action, so you should not say, “I appreciate your understanding.”

Similarly, someone may be able to give you limited help or help that doesn’t meet your need. In this case, you have nothing to be grateful for because they have not done anything of value to accommodate you. You would not say, “I appreciate your understanding” in this scenario.

What Can You Use Instead of “I Appreciate Your Understanding”?

“I appreciate your understanding” is a generic way to say you are grateful for something someone has done for you. In English, there are multiple polite sentences that you can use to convey the same meaning. 

You can use the statements below instead of “I appreciate your understanding” whenever you want to show gratitude to someone who has done something of value to assist you. 

  • Thank you for your help!
  • I’m so appreciative/thankful/grateful for…
  • Thank you, this will be very helpful.
  • I appreciate it; you are so understanding.
  • Thank you for your flexibility.
  • I recognize it is extra work, so thank you.
  • Thank you for realizing our difficulty and for helping.
  • Thank you for accommodating me.
  • Your flexibility is wonderful; thank you! 
  • I appreciate you making this adjustment for me.

For more information on what you can say to show you are grateful for someone’s help, check out our article Is It Correct to Say “I Appreciate Your Help”?

Polite Statements 

Polite statements are sentences or phrases that keep us in good relational standing with others. They show that we value and respect others and ensure we approach others with softness rather than harshness. This approach also demonstrates value and respect.

We use polite statements whenever we want to show someone we respect them. Polite statements use words of appreciation, titles, and softening words that help us sound less direct (source). 

We might use polite statements with our family, friends, teachers, boss, and strangers. It is essential to give respect to others, and using polite statements is one way of doing that. 

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We can also use polite statements to show our gratitude. For example, telling someone you are thankful for something they have done for you or given to you is showing them respect. Check out our article Is It Correct to Say “I Appreciate You”? to learn more about using polite statements as a show of gratitude and respect.

Final Thoughts

No two people or circumstances are exactly the same, which sometimes means one person needs a little extra help. When we need additional assistance or someone to make a change for us, we must show our gratitude. 

You can show gratefulness in several ways. Simply saying so is a straightforward way to politely show how thankful we are. “I appreciate your understanding” is a wonderful way to let someone know you value their effort to help you.