[Grammar] Relatively stabe or more stable

Status
Not open for further replies.

patran

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
Dear Teachers

Would like to know which of the follwoing sentences are better in terms of the English language. Or they convey different meanings?

1) Returns of bonds are relatively stable compared to equities
2) Returns of bonds are more stable than equities

Regards

Anthony the learner
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
Dear Teachers

Would like to know which of the follwoing sentences are better in terms of the English language. Or they convey different meanings?

1) Returns of bonds are relatively stable compared to equities
2) Returns of bonds are more stable than equities

Regards

Anthony the learner
Returns from bonds are more stable than returns from equities.
Returns from bonds are relatively stable compared to returns from equities.

They mean close enough to the same thing.
 

patran

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
Thanks Raymott. Would like to know, which one 1) or 2) sounds more natural to you? Please advise.
 

BobK

Harmless drudge
Staff member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Returns from bonds are more stable than returns from equities.
Returns from bonds are relatively stable compared to returns from equities.

They mean close enough to the same thing.
:?:These two are close enough to meaning the same thing:
  • Returns from bonds are more stable than returns from equities
  • Returns from bonds, relative to returns from equities, are more stable.

The trouble with 'relatively', especially when placed directly before a gradable adjective, is that as well as its comparative meaning it can have a general 'in relation to everything else' sense - so that it comes to mean something like 'reasonably/fairly/quite...'

So, patran, use the first; and if you find yourself ever needing to use something like the second, put a comma after 'relatively stable' so that it's clear that you aren't committing the solecism of using a pleonastic 'relatively' (pleonastic, because you're about to say what it's relative to anyway).

b
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
:?:These two are close enough to meaning the same thing:
  • Returns from bonds are more stable than returns from equities
  • Returns from bonds, relative to returns from equities, are more stable.

The trouble with 'relatively', especially when placed directly before a gradable adjective, is that as well as its comparative meaning it can have a general 'in relation to everything else' sense - so that it comes to mean something like 'reasonably/fairly/quite...'

So, patran, use the first; and if you find yourself ever needing to use something like the second, put a comma after 'relatively stable' so that it's clear that you aren't committing the solecism of using a pleonastic 'relatively' (pleonastic, because you're about to say what it's relative to anyway).

b
Yes, Bob, to me they mean close enough to the same thing - unless I'm missing something at this early hour.
"I am more stable than you."
"I am, relatively to you, more stable."

I agree the first sounds best.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top