The words entenderand comprender both mean "to understand". They're largely considered to be synonyms and, in most cases, they are pretty interchangeable. However, in some contexts their meanings may differ slightly, just like the words "understand" and "comprehend" in English.
Entender can often be used over comprender in indicating a general understanding. Comprender, on the other hand, is sometimes used to highlight an understanding on a deeper level; to describe the comprehension of a concept, a situation, a purpose or the significance of something.
In simpler terms, some distinguish between the two by saying that you entender with your ears and comprender with your brain.
Entender vs Comprender
- Entiendo las reglas del juego.
I understand the rules of the game.
- No entiendo esta palabra.
I don't understand this word.
- ¡No entiendo ni una sola palabra de este libro!
I don't understand a single word of this book!
- Ella quiere comprender el arte moderno.
She wants to understand modern art.
- Comprendo por qué se siente así.
I understand why he feels that way.
- No comprendo la guerra.
I don't understand war.