July 19, 2016



When someone or something is related to something else, we say it’s relative. This word is often used for people who share a common bond through marriage and family relationships.

  • Do you have any relatives who live nearby?
  • If you need any help, you might be able to count on your relatives for support.
  • Relatives from across the country came to pay their respects at my grandmother’s funeral.
  • Steven’s relatives are coming over for dinner on Saturday night.
  • We’re having our relatives over later today. (have over = receive visitors)
  • It’s fun to get together with relatives.


They have some relatives over.

The word "relative" can also be used as an adjective when making comparisons to another situation.

  • The point that he’s trying to make is relative to the argument. (The word "relevant" is similar in this kind of a sentence.)
  • Some people argue that a full understanding of morality is relative to a particular circumstance. (This idea also goes by "moral relativism.")
  • The teacher taught the class about relative clauses today. (A relative clause is necessary and descriptive of another part of a sentence.)

The word "relatively" is an adverb which we use when making comparisons:

  • The movie was relatively short. (This is in comparison to other movies.)
  • The test was relatively easy. (This is in comparison to other tests.)
  • Compared to some of the other candidates running for office, Jeff Johnson is relatively smart. (This statement could sound like an insult to all who are mentioned.)

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