How do you say "I hear you" meaning "to sympathize with; to understand the feelings or opinion of" (Wiktionary; see also tFD, Macmillan, ELU, Urban). Do you need a (preposition and a) pronoun, some complement or just a verb and which verb is that (comprendre, entendre, sympathiser)? Do you say something different if it's used "as a prelude to disagreeing with what has been said" (third example)? Take for instance the following examples:

You're tired of all the ads on TV? I hear ya.
I hear you, honey. I know you're in a lot of pain right now.
I hear you, but we just can't afford to make any big changes like that at this time.
I hear what you are saying about the strength of feeling on this issue.

2 Answers 2


There is a French equivalent when used to acknowledge your interlocutor's point of view, but it is rather formal: j'entends bien.

J'entends bien, mais nous devons faire des économies.

More common phrases may be, depending on the context:

Je sais

Je sais bien

Je comprends

J'ai compris

j'ai bien compris

Je suis d'accord

Je suis bien d'accord

They can all be used as a prelude to a counter-argument in a discussion.

Je sais bien, mais on ne peut pas se permettre de tels changements pour l'instant

If you want to express a sense of sympathy, after a rhetorical question, as in your first example, a more appropriate turn is comme je te comprends:

Tu en as marre des publicités ? Comme je te comprends.

  • Les more common phrases rendraient-elles aussi I understand/know et cela empêcherait-il d'avoir la nuance d'avec I hear you ?
    – user19187
    Apr 26, 2019 at 19:19

There is a verb that precisely means "to sympathize with; to understand the feelings or opinion of", although sligthly formal, compatir :

Je compatis.

  • Tout à fait mais on est cependant dans un registre plus familier il me semble. Par ailleurs le verbe est-il utile pour précéder le désaccord, je compatis, mais... et y aura-t-il sarcasme dans ce cas ?
    – user19187
    Apr 26, 2019 at 19:22
  • 1
    Compatir est certes un peu recherché mais peut quand même, il me semble, être utilisé dans tout style de conversation. Il peut précéder un désaccord, un refus, bien que rarement en niant la compassion : je compatis, mais je peux rien pour vous.
    – jlliagre
    Apr 26, 2019 at 23:17

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