- For Teachers
Would like to know which of the follwoing sentences are better in terms of the English language. Or they convey different meanings?
1) Returns of bonds are relatively stable compared to equities
2) Returns of bonds are more stable than equities
Anthony the learner
Thanks Raymott. Would like to know, which one 1) or 2) sounds more natural to you? Please advise.
- Returns from bonds are more stable than returns from equities
- Returns from bonds, relative to returns from equities, are more stable.
The trouble with 'relatively', especially when placed directly before a gradable adjective, is that as well as its comparative meaning it can have a general 'in relation to everything else' sense - so that it comes to mean something like 'reasonably/fairly/quite...'
So, patran, use the first; and if you find yourself ever needing to use something like the second, put a comma after 'relatively stable' so that it's clear that you aren't committing the solecism of using a pleonastic 'relatively' (pleonastic, because you're about to say what it's relative to anyway).