English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

A relation is often considered to be a more general case of a property

I don't fully understand. Is it to say a relation is a case of a property ? then what's a more general case?

share|improve this question
From an article in Wikipedia – RedGrittyBrick Feb 2 '11 at 22:59
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I believe it means that a relation is a property lacking strictness, loosely defined. But it's just a guess. I have no proof and I am not a native either.

For example, if you say that "A is taller than B", A has the property of being taller than B, but you do not know exactly how tall A is, because this is dependent on B.

share|improve this answer

I think it becomes clearer when stated the other way around: "A property is a more specific type of relation." In other words, a relation is a general-purpose category of items, like "vehicle"; a property is a specific type of relation, like "car" is a type of vehicle. All cars are vehicles, and all properties are relations; but not all vehicles are cars, and not all relations are properties.

share|improve this answer
Here, property > relation : [ For generality we will also take properties to include relations like being taller than and lying between](plato.stanford.edu/entries/properties). I'm confused. – user3780 Feb 3 '11 at 1:22

The sentence refers to the word general as in less specific. An item can have measurable properties while relating to other items through comparisons.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.