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  1. Member
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    #1

    the relationship looked from the position of (someone)?

    Hi

    Please assume that someone receives a delivery notice of a special registered letter from the post office but he is always too busy to be home or go to the post office to receive it. So he asks his mother to receive it for him.
    The post office requires his mother to sign a receipt. The receipt also has a column to describe the relationship looked from the position of the original addressee (“Mother”, in this case).

    (Putting aside the question of whether or not such a column actually exists,) I can’t think of a good way to describe the blue part. Could anyone help me please?
    It's not enough to write just "Relationship", because then she might write "Son". I'd like to know an expression which makes the answer "Mother".

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    #2

    Re: the relationship looked from the position of (someone)?

    It is normally understood that the "relationship" is that of the person filling out the form to the other party (in this case "mother.")

    To be clear state "relation to addressee" or "your relation to addressee."

    Even then, I am sure you will get either "mother" or "son" as answers.

  2. Member
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    #3

    Re: the relationship looked from the position of (someone)?

    Thank you for your reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    To be clear state "relation to addressee" or "your relation to addressee."
    How about "relationship to addressee" or "your relationship to addressee"?
    Is there any difference between "relation" and "relationship" in this case?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Even then, I am sure you will get either "mother" or "son" as answers.
    If you had to get "mother" as the answer, how would you ask? I think the blue part in my first sounds awkward.
    Could anyone please tell me a better way to say it?

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: the relationship looked from the position of (someone)?

    "Relationship to addressee/applicant" is the best and most common way. The word "Your" at the beginning is implied. I understand the slight ambiguity because you will see both of the following responses:

    What is your relationship to the addressee?
    I am his mother.
    OR
    He is my son.

    However "He is my son" is the answer to "What is the addressee's relationship to you?"

    If the person completing the form reads the question properly, then "Mother" is the only logical answer. If someone is going to misunderstand the question, then they are likely to misunderstand it no matter how you word it. Even if you put "How are you related to the addressee?" they could still think "He's my son" and write "Son". I don't think there is a surefire way of getting the answer you're looking for. You have to assume that the person completing the form has a modicum of intelligence and will go for the most logical and obvious answer of "Mother".

  4. Member
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    #5

    Re: the relationship looked from the position of (someone)?

    Thank you for your answers, SoothingDave and emsr2d2.

    I was looking for a surefire way of getting "Mother" as the answer because we have such an expression in Japanese, but it looks like I should give up.

    I still wonder though, if it was Father, not Mother in the above example, and if the father completing the form misunderstands the question, how people would know which is which. You'll have no way of telling which is the father and which is the son when the both names are man's names.
    Last edited by pinkie9; 13-May-2012 at 02:50.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: the relationship looked from the position of (someone)?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    I still wonder though, if it was Father, not Mother in the above example, and if the father completing the form misunderstands the question, how people would know which is which.
    They wouldn't.
    You'll have no way of telling which is the father and which is the son when the both names are man's names.
    That's right. People often make mistakes when filling out forms. It doesn't normally cause any real problems.

  6. Member
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    #7

    Re: the relationship looked from the position of (someone)?

    OK, I'll try not to let it bother me.
    Thank you.

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