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    #1

    Relatively stabe or more stable

    Dear 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

    Regards

    Anthony the learner

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Relatively stabe or more stable

    Quote Originally Posted by patran View Post
    Dear 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

    Regards

    Anthony the learner
    Returns from bonds are more stable than returns from equities.
    Returns from bonds are relatively stable compared to returns from equities.

    They mean close enough to the same thing.

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    #3

    Re: Relatively stabe or more stable

    Thanks Raymott. Would like to know, which one 1) or 2) sounds more natural to you? Please advise.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Relatively stabe or more stable

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Returns from bonds are more stable than returns from equities.
    Returns from bonds are relatively stable compared to returns from equities.

    They mean close enough to the same thing.
    These two are close enough to meaning the same thing:
    • 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).

    b

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    #5

    Re: Relatively stabe or more stable

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    These two are close enough to meaning the same thing:
    • 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).

    b
    Yes, Bob, to me they mean close enough to the same thing - unless I'm missing something at this early hour.
    "I am more stable than you."
    "I am, relatively to you, more stable."

    I agree the first sounds best.

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