Relate 相關 — Explained

Relate 最常見的用法是 relate A to B (把 A 連到 B),及其被動用法 A is related to B (A與B是相關的)。然而奇怪的是,這個字的「被動用法」在 Cambridge 字典中的定義卻與「主動用法」是一樣的,也就是說 A relates to B = A is related to B?如影片裡提到的「how this relates to…」,我們發現大部份狀況下似乎是如此,然而某些狀況下,它們看似意思相同,其實帶有「微差異 (subtle difference)」。本文將介紹 relate 的完整用法,並介紹微差異的狀況。

Relate A to B

[ T ] to find or show the connection between two or more things 找到聯繫;證明…有聯繫

We need to explain why these issues are important and relate them to everyday life.

connected 有關的;有聯繫的;相關的

We discussed unemployment and related issues.

Experts believe that the large number of cancer cases in the area are directly related to the new nuclear power station.

此用法即為「找到聯繫」被動化的結果。當某人或事「被找到了關係」那麼換句話說就是他們兩個是「相關的」。

Relate to Sth/Sb

to be connected to, or to be about someone or something 與…相關;有關;涉及

Chapter 9 relates to the effects of inflation on consumers.

注意到這個用法最為特別!被動化與沒有被動化在 Cambridge 字典的定義裡都有一個 connect。也就是說 relate to = be related to?就這點而言,在 word reference 的討論中有人提到被動的 be related to 更強調 connection。換句話說主動用法的 relate to 中文翻成「涉及 (about)」會比較好。

網友的說明相當清楚,摘要如下:

The book relates to wildlife – the book is about wildlife, at least in parts

The book is related to wildlife – there is something that connects that book to wildlife (makes little sense to me 🙁 )

可以看到第二個例句,book 被某個 connection 連到了 wildlife,然而書怎麼會與野生動物有 connection 呢?所以網友說 make little sense。此時我們再回頭看看前面 be related to 的例句:

Experts believe that the large number of cancer cases in the area are directly related to the new nuclear power station.

可以發現確實,該例句更強調了核能電廠與當地的癌症之間的「不明 connection」,而不僅僅只是「涉及」那麼簡單的意思。

Reference

更多例句可以參考 YouGlish:

特殊片語用法

to understand someone and be able to have a friendly relationship with them 理解(某人);體恤(某人)

Many parents find it hard to relate to their children when they are teenagers.

to understand a situation or someone’s feelings because you have experienced a similar situation or similar feelings 理解;認同;與…産生共鳴

The culture that he describes is so different from mine that I sometimes find it hard to relate to.