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Thread: Bear a relation

  1. #1
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Question Bear a relation

    Does "bear a relation to" mean "be similar to"? Does it have any other meanings?

    Thanks in advance,
    Marcin

  2. #2
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    Re: Bear a relation

    Again, your interpretation of the meaning is correct.

    The word "bear" can be used in different context to mean different things. The main use of the words is for the animal. For example, "Bears live in wooded areas."
    It could be used to indicate the inability to cope with something. "I cannot bear to revise for another exam."
    It is also used to bring something forth. "Women bear children", I.E. they give birth to them. In the past tense it would be written as "The woman bore a child."
    It can be used to indicate possession. Someone who has brought another person a present would bear a gift.

    As you can see, it's a very versatile word indeed!

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    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Thumbs up Re: Bear a relation

    Thanks, Robbie, for all your detailed replies! I do appreciate them, and am happy that my conjectures were fine.

    Best,
    Nyggus

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    Re: Bear a relation

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie_Durham
    Again, your interpretation of the meaning is correct.

    The word "bear" can be used in different contexts to mean different things. The main use of the word is for the animal. For example, "Bears live in wooded areas."
    It could be used to indicate the inability to cope with something. "I cannot bear to revise for another exam."
    It is also used to bring something forth. "Women bear children", I.E. they give birth to them. In the past tense it would be written as "The woman bore a child."
    It can be used to indicate possession. Someone who has brought another person a present would bear a gift.

    As you can see, it's a very versatile word indeed!
    Just a couple of minor mistakes I would like to correct. "Context" should be "contexts" and "words" should be "word". I've put my corrections in bold. I'm glad you're happy with my replies though.

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    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: Bear a relation

    Interesting. I would interpret "bear a relation to" slightly differently. Take this example:

    1. Do the plays of Shakespeare bear any relation to the real world?

    This could be paraphrased as:

    2. Do the plays of Shakespeare reflect the real world in any way?

    or:

    3. Are the plays of Shakespeare connected with the real world in any way?

    The fact that I got up at 5 o'clock this morning "bears a relation" to the fact that my alarm clock went off ten seconds earlier. And the fact that I'm hungry at the moment "bears a relation" to the fact that I didn't have enough to eat this evening.

    MrP

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    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Re: Bear a relation

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    Interesting. I would interpret "bear a relation to" slightly differently. Take this example:
    1. Do the plays of Shakespeare bear any relation to the real world?
    This could be paraphrased as:
    2. Do the plays of Shakespeare reflect the real world in any way?
    or:
    3. Are the plays of Shakespeare connected with the real world in any way?
    The fact that I got up at 5 o'clock this morning "bears a relation" to the fact that my alarm clock went off ten seconds earlier. And the fact that I'm hungry at the moment "bears a relation" to the fact that I didn't have enough to eat this evening.
    MrP
    Thus, how would you understand the sentence, "She bears no relation to her brother."
    Nyggus

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    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: Bear a relation

    Hello Nyggus

    It looks slightly odd to me; unless it's a joke. (A pun on "relation", for instance.)

    The usual context for the phrase is "X bears a relation to Y", where X and Y are facts of some kind.

    Do you have more context for that particular sentence?

    MrP

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    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Re: Bear a relation

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    Hello Nyggus
    It looks slightly odd to me; unless it's a joke. (A pun on "relation", for instance.)
    The usual context for the phrase is "X bears a relation to Y", where X and Y are facts of some kind.
    Do you have more context for that particular sentence?
    MrP
    Hi MrPedantic,
    "She bears no relation to (=She is not similar to) her brother." - This is a quotation from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

    Best,
    Nyggus

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    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: Bear a relation

    Even odder!

    Here are the results of a Google search on the phrase "bears no relation to her".

    If you look through them, you'll see that in the structure "X bears no relation to Y", Y is usually an abstraction or abstract fact of some kind.

    Interestingly, there are no hits for "bears no relation to her brother/sister/mother/father/uncle"!

    MrP

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    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Re: Bear a relation

    Please find another example:
    "Nevertheless, the writing is done, and our material success is likely to bear a close relation to how efficiently we can do it."
    (Source: „Understanding English”, Paul Roberts, San Jose Stte College; Harper & Row, Publishers, New York and Evanston, 1958.)

    Nyggus

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