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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 29th, 2016, 09:03 am
eslHQ Zealot
 
Join Date: Mar 12th, 2013
Posts: 140
fface is on a distinguished road
Default I can relate to

Hi,

What does "I can relate to..." mean in these context?

1. "I feel like I can relate really well to people who are trying to study another language because I’m studying another language. So when I meet someone that’s studying a language, I feel like I can relate to them and give them some tips."

2. "This book discusses issues that many teenagers can relate to."

Thank you very much.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 29th, 2016, 09:11 am
ESLgames.com
 
Join Date: Jan 26th, 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 33
sidewalker is on a distinguished road
Default Re: I can relate to

Hi fface,

To relate to something means that you can understand what something is like because you have had a similar experience.

For example, "I can relate to the character John in this book",means that John is maybe a similar age from a similar background and has similar problems to me, so I understand how he feels.

The problems in the book are typical teenage problems, therefore the teenagers can understand them better than maybe an older person could.

Hope that helps!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread May 7th, 2016, 03:50 am
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Join Date: Mar 12th, 2013
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fface is on a distinguished road
Default Re: I can relate to

Thank you very much for your answer.
Here is one of the definitions of 'understand' quoted from an online dictionary:

[to know how someone feels or why they behave in a particular way

Sometimes I don't understand James.

You don't understand what it's like/how it feels to have to beg on the streets]

What's the difference between relate to and understand here?
eg: Sometimes I don't relate to James.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread May 7th, 2016, 06:31 am
ESLgames.com
 
Join Date: Jan 26th, 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
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sidewalker is on a distinguished road
Default Re: I can relate to

I don't think you have to be able to relate to someone to be able to understand them. I can watch the behaviour of a millionaire and understand how they might reach decisions. But I can't relate to them as I was never in the same situation.

In the second example, I can't relate to the behaviour of the homeless person because I was never in the same position. To have been in the same shoes at some point in ones life.
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