Is there a definitional distinction between the first two? And, must one of the two first be satisfied before the third can be employed? Should the sequence of the first two words be switched? In other words, does “comprehending” come before “understanding”? Can you comprehend something without understanding it? Or, conversely, can you understand something without comprehending it?
The semantic debate can focus upon different aspects of the words. For example, the term “comprehend” implies a more expansive concept than the word “understand” — and thus the related term, “comprehensive”, which encapsulates a greater bubble of knowledge. On the other hand, the word “understand” implies a finality — the end result — as in, “Yes, now I understand”, whereas “comprehend” may infer the “process” of reaching that understanding, as in, “Yes, I comprehend it, now, and finally understand what you are saying.”
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition and need to apply for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, the need to comprehend and understand at least part of the process of Federal Disability Retirement is a “must”; to apply it, however, you should contact an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest you fail to understand or only partially comprehend the complexities of the application of the laws governing Federal Disability Retirement.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.