"I grab his letter."
Translation:Je saisis sa lettre.
I understand that it is an acceptable term to grab a letter. It just seemed to me like using saisir to convey that meaning was a stretch. Checking dictionaries after this example, I see that they indicate that grabbing, taking, seizing are all more common uses for saisir than understanding.
That is not something that is apparent from Duo lessons so far.
Correct! The idea of "understanding" for saisir is conveyed in the sense of "grasping" an idea. We occasionally use "grasp" in English as if to say "I have taken hold of the idea", but we just say, "I get it (or) I've got it" (meaning, now I have grasped the idea you were talking about). We even use "take" in the same way, e.g., "if you take my meaning" (i.e., if you understand what I'm trying to say).
Take my meaning is often used to convey danger or risk if the not directly stated meaning is not noticed.
John is coming over to discuss a settlement to our dispute.He'll be bringing his gun, if you take my meaning.
Jim has been given complete control of the finances. He has been convicted of fraud, if you take my meaning.
In these examples no direct threat or accusation is made but the listener is invited to be aware of their presence.
I just meant that I personally have never heard that phrase used before. That could speak to growing up in the Midwestern U.S. As I said, I would understand what was meant. A quick Google search even provided a book with the phrase in its title. I didn't find anything on it being used to convey danger or risk specifically, just that the listener is to infer that the statement has a more profound, mutually understood meaning.
"Prendre" is not necessarily wrong (I would put in an error report) but duolingo is playing with nuances. "Prendre" is 'to take' and is generally a more tame action than "Saisir" which is to grab, grasp, or even seize. The french definition for "Saisir" says - "prendre qch (something) avec les mains" or 'to take something with the hands' which is a suitable translation for 'to grab'
I my answer wasn't accepted because i used lettre instead of courrier