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  1. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #1

    The correct usage of 'relationship', 'relations', or 'connections'...

    Hi there,

    A friend of mine has used, in a writing, a sentence I don't know the best alternative for, as it seems wrong in structure and choice of word. I was wondering if you could kindly help me get it fixed.

    '...the overuse of technology has decreased the relationships among people.'

    Can anything 'decrease' the 'relationships'?
    Is 'relationships' the right choice in this sentence? (As he meant people don't really get to keep in touch, these days - or perhaps the way they get in touch is not as genuine as it used to be, perhaps.)

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The correct usage of 'relationship', 'relations', or 'connections'...

    It's not the best choice of words, but it's understandable (I think).

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    #3

    Re: The correct usage of 'relationship', 'relations', or 'connections'...

    has reduced human interactions
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The correct usage of 'relationship', 'relations', or 'connections'...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    It's not the best choice of words, but it's understandable (I think).
    And, would you please kindly give me your way of saying the same thing? (It's supposed to be in a writing, indeed.)


    Plus, one BIG problem I've always had is how such verbs work with different nouns. Can we 'reduce', 'decrease', or 'diminish' ideas such as, 'traffic', 'relationship' and so on?

    How can I get to know more about them? Any special title in English I can study or something? I really want to know more about the natural way of putting those words together, though I know it's got a lot more to do with a sense of language than 'knowledge' about it.

  4. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The correct usage of 'relationship', 'relations', or 'connections'...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Plus, one BIG problem I've always had is how such verbs work with different nouns. Can we 'reduce', 'decrease', or 'diminish' ideas such as, 'traffic', 'relationship' and so on?

    How can I get to know more about them? Any special title in English I can study or something? I really want to know more about the natural way of putting those words together, though I know it's got a lot more to do with a sense of language than 'knowledge' about it.
    Hello, Mehrgan.

    I'd like to provide a link to an online dictionary.
    http://oxforddictionary.so8848.com/

    I hope you will find it helpful.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The correct usage of 'relationship', 'relations', or 'connections'...

    I think what is missing here is "face to face". Social media and technology do not decrease personal interactions, but they do decrease "face to face" interactions.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The correct usage of 'relationship', 'relations', or 'connections'...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    And, would you please kindly give me your way of saying the same thing?
    I chose not to do that because I wasn't sure exactly what the intended meaning was.
    Are the number of relationships reduced?
    Is the number the same, but the quality of each relationship reduced?
    etc.
    tedmc has probably guessed correctly. But you are asking for something impossible - how I would say something when I don't know what the concept is that needs expressing.
    I agree that you can't reduce, or decrease relationships (you can with traffic), but it might be possible to diminish a relationship. Eg, it might be possible to diminish the relationship of a marriage through an extra-marital affair. But this would be an atypical usage.

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    #8

    Re: The correct usage of 'relationship', 'relations', or 'connections'...

    I think the 'natural way of putting words together' and the 'sense of language' can only be acquired through lots of reading and writing practice.
    Being in a non-English speaking environment is more difficult as we are not exposed to the correct use of the language.
    To native speaker generally, that sense is innate, being part of their upbringing while non-native speakers take longer time to acquire it.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: The correct usage of 'relationship', 'relations', or 'connections'...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I chose not to do that because I wasn't sure exactly what the intended meaning was.
    Are the number of relationships reduced?
    Is the number the same, but the quality of each relationship reduced?
    etc.
    tedmc has probably guessed correctly. But you are asking for something impossible - how I would say something when I don't know what the concept is that needs expressing.
    I agree that you can't reduce, or decrease relationships (you can with traffic), but it might be possible to diminish a relationship. Eg, it might be possible to diminish the relationship of a marriage through an extra-marital affair. But this would be an atypical usage.
    That's it! You've exactly mentioned the problem I have with those items. (And believe me, when I didn't explain more, that's because I really didn't know how to. And sometimes we just hope, though it's doesn't make sense to you, that the native speakers will get the point we're trying to get across, simply because it's so difficult to express.

    And like you said, I was wondering if 'decrease', for example, would function 'quantitatively' or 'qualitatively'. And, I just needed to know how many verbs in English would function either way (I mean lists of such verbs stating what they exactly 'decrease' or 'increase' when they're used with some common nouns.

  8. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: The correct usage of 'relationship', 'relations', or 'connections'...

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    I think the 'natural way of putting words together' and the 'sense of language' can only be acquired through lots of reading and writing practice.
    Being in a non-English speaking environment is more difficult as we are not exposed to the correct use of the language.
    To native speaker generally, that sense is innate, being part of their upbringing while non-native speakers take longer time to acquire it.
    And I seriously believe we can never acquire it, at least in my case! ;) I'm just trying to learn, which explains why I'm looking for shortcuts!!! (Though, I'm doing my best to increase my exposure to real English usage. )

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