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  1. #1
    suprunp's Avatar
    suprunp is offline Senior Member
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    Default who understood little math more complex than counting

    Benjamin Rush, the “father of American psychiatry,” described the lightning-quick calculating ability of Thomas Fuller, who understood little math more complex than counting.
    (Scientific American Mind;Volume 14, Number 1;Islands of Genius)

    Can I say here "...who understood little about math more complex than counting."?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: who understood little math more complex than counting

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    Benjamin Rush, the “father of American psychiatry,” described the lightning-quick calculating ability of Thomas Fuller, who understood little math more complex than counting.
    (Scientific American Mind;Volume 14, Number 1;Islands of Genius)

    Can I say here "...who understood little about math more complex than counting."?

    Thanks.
    Yes, you can.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: who understood little math more complex than counting

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    Benjamin Rush, the “father of American psychiatry,” described the lightning-quick calculating ability of Thomas Fuller, who understood little math more complex than counting.
    (Scientific American Mind;Volume 14, Number 1;Islands of Genius)

    Can I say here "...who understood little about math more complex than counting."?

    Thanks.
    You could, but the original is more common. In English, we "understand something" far more often than we "understand about something."
    Mostly it just sounds wrong:
    "Do you understand [about] what you're reading?"
    "Do you understand [about] Italian?"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: who understood little math more complex than counting

    But the second example is a bit dubious 'Understand' has a special meaning in the case of languages. 'I understand Italian' means I understand what is said or written'. And 'I understand about Italian' is scarcely intelligible; perhaps it means 'I know about Italian' (which, as you know, does not mean the same as 'I know Italian').

    b

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: who understood little math more complex than counting

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    But the second example is a bit dubious 'Understand' has a special meaning in the case of languages. 'I understand Italian' means I understand what is said or written'. And 'I understand about Italian' is scarcely intelligible; perhaps it means 'I know about Italian' (which, as you know, does not mean the same as 'I know Italian').

    b
    That's partly what I meant. Since "understand" has more than one meaning, you can't always change "understanding" to "understanding about". I don't think "understand about math" sounds much better than "understand about Italian".

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