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If your teacher or your leader orders you to do sth or tells you sth, I always hear people say 'はい、わかりました。' But I also once heard somebody say 'わかる' instead of 'わかりました' to reply. Can people do that? Can I use both of them?

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わかる (present form) is never used when you accept an order/request from anyone. It's used when referring to something you already know. Its politer equivalent is わかります. They are often used to show your sympathy.

  • わかる。: I know. I understand that. You can say that. Yeah it really is.
  • わかります。: (polite version of わかる) Yes. I know. I understand that. I agree.

わかった is the phrase you have to use when you accept someone's request. Its politer equivalent is わかりました.

  • わかった。 Okay. Got it. I see. Understood.
  • わかりました。: (polite version of わかった) Okay. I see. Understood. Yes sir.

See: What is different between 分かります and 分かりました。

You should almost always use the politer versions to your boss. You may occasionally see someone excitedly say わかる! to their boss at an izakaya restaurant, though.

  • Could you please explain that in the respect of japanese 時制 and 相, 完了and 未完了? – Null Oct 9 '16 at 2:57
  • @Null I'm not very good at tense/aspect... Somehow I feel this わかった is simple 過去, but I'm not 100% sure. – naruto Oct 9 '16 at 3:07
  • thank you, but when talking about tense I feel that it would be complex to understand the usage, I fell that わかった is more like 完了相 rather than 過去, like somebody already know the request or order. – Null Oct 9 '16 at 3:16
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So broadly and almost overall saying, you can not or should I say, you'd better refrain from using.

"わかりました" is, as you can see, is including 丁寧語{ていねいご} ます、です、( which is conjugated ) so that I think almost nobody would say "わかる", especially to your leader. If your teacher or leader is almost equal to your very close friend, then "わかる" would be possible. I think somebody who is so intimate with the teacher/leader would have said so.

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