refer and relate

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jctgf

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Joined
Oct 27, 2007
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Student or Learner
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Portuguese
Home Country
Tuvalu
Current Location
Tuvalu
Please let me know how to use properly “to refer” and “to relate”. Are the following sentences correct?
1) This answer refers to that question.
2) In this context, the preposition ON refers to the verb DEPENDING.
3) Referring to your inquiry, we would like to inform that…
4) In reference to your inquiry, we would like to inform that…
5) In this context, the preposition ON is related to the verb DEPENDING.
6) The preposition ON relates to the verb DEPENDING.
Thanks.
 

Snowcake

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Mar 21, 2008
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Academic
Native Language
German
Home Country
Germany
Current Location
Germany
Please let me know how to use properly “to refer” and “to relate”. Are the following sentences correct?
1) This answer refers to that question.
2) In this context, the preposition ON refers to the verb DEPENDING.
3) Referring to your inquiry, we would like to inform you that…
4) In reference to your inquiry, we would like to inform you that…
5) In this context, the preposition ON relates to the verb DEPENDING.
6) The preposition ON relates to the verb DEPENDING.
Thanks.

Both refer and relate can have the meaning of "be relevant to".
You refer to something that has already been mentioned.

My answer referes / relates to your earlier comment.

In most cases these words are interchangeable. It depends on the context. When you want to point out that something is logical or causal connected with something else, I would use 'relate'.
As in: I cannot relate these events. (meaning, I cannot connect these events in my mind)

Both words can have further meanings which are not interchangeable.

As regards 3 and 4, I wouldn't use "relate". 'with/in reference to', 'referring to'
are fixed phrases.
You can say "The agreement relating to ..."

This is only my humble opinion and I am very interested in reading a native speaker's explanation.

Hopefully, I haven't caused more confusion. :roll:

Regards,
Snowcake
 
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