# Thread: relative to the table

1. ## relative to the table

Do these two questions have the same meaning?

What is the position of the book in regards with the table?

What is the position of the book relative to the table?

Thanks.

2. ## Re: relative to the table

-Relative to usually means dependent on.
-With/in regard to usually means relating to something; in connection with.

If you want to compare:
-The position/rank of the book in relation to the Table.
-The position/rank of the book in comparison with the Table.

If you want to mean 'in view of':
-The position of the book considering the Table.

3. ## Re: relative to the table

Originally Posted by chester_100
-Relative to usually means dependent on.
-With/in regard to usually means relating to something; in connection with.

If you want to compare:
-The position/rank of the book in relation to the Table.
-The position/rank of the book in comparison with the Table.

If you want to mean 'in view of':
-The position of the book considering the Table.
I have to disagree.

You can't swap "position" for "rank" in this context. It works if you're talking about a person's position within a company, but not for an inanimate object. A book can't have a rank (except in something like a list of books - "The Top Ten Books of 2009", for example). There is also no reason for a capital "T" on table.

The OP is surely talking about the location of the book, by saying "position".

"In relation to" and "relative to" both work for me. "Considering" definitely doesn't.

Where is the book in relation to the table?
Well, the table is in the middle of the room and the book is just in front of it and to the left.

Where is the book, relative to the table?
It's behind it and slightly to the right.

4. ## Re: relative to the table

Originally Posted by emsr2d2
I have to disagree.

You can't swap 'position' for 'rank' in this context. It works if you're talking about a person's position within a company, but not for an inanimate object. A book can't have a rank (except in something like a list of books - 'The Top Ten Books of 2009', for example).
And that's exactly how I view the question.
There is also no reason for a capital &quot;T&quot; on table.
-Table (statistics): systematic arrangement of information in columns or rows. (Webster's)
In all of the books on statistics, words like table, chart, column are capitalized. Search online for more information.

The OP is surely talking about the location of the book, by saying 'position'.
-We can't be so sure about. We need more context. All of the contentives used here are polysemous words.
Further, the OP used 'in regards to' which is not usually used for spatial relations. So I process the data as an expression of numerical comparison.

'In relation to' and 'relative to' both work for me. 'Considering' definitely doesn't.
This is what I said:
-If you want to mean 'in view of'.

Why do you think it's wrong?

Where is the book in relation to the table?
Well, the table is in the middle of the room and the book is just in front of it and to the left.
Where is the book, relative to the table?
It's behind it and slightly to the right.
How did you conclude that it's necessarily about the coordinates of an object in space?
Your explanation can be right, but there's no way to rule out other views without strong linguistic proof.
C

5. ## Re: relative to the table

I actually meant the position of the book and nothing else.

Special thanks, emsr2d2

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