I would like to know if the meaning of belong to conform the meaning of pertain to. If no, what is the difference and when each one of them is more suitable?


Well according to my search on some dictionaries I found there is some common synonyms between them, but non of the both words was mentioned as a synonym for the other

However, at this dictionary the both words can be interchangeable. Not sure which one is more trust worthy. Besides, non of the dictionaries mentions when each word is more suitable to be used.
I'm sorry I wanted to post more links but the reputation does not allow me at the moment.

  • 2
    What research have you done? Please let us know what you found after looking in a dictionary. Oct 9, 2013 at 9:19
  • @MattЭллен Thanks for the heads-up, the post updated
    – Hawk
    Oct 9, 2013 at 9:41

2 Answers 2


The meanings of "pertain to" are much more restricted :

a) relate to

"These documents pertain to the same case".

b) be a part or appendage of

"The farm pertains to this land".

c) be appropriate to

"It pertains to observe some rules when in public".


According to Oxford Dictionary, pertain means "to exist or to apply in a particular situation or at a particular time". And "pertain to sb/sth" means "to be connected with sb/sth."


  • Those laws no longer pertain.
  • Living conditions are vastly different from those pertaining in their country of origin.

That meaning is different from the meaning of belong. When we use "belong to sth/sb", it means "to be a member or part of something".


  • Whose does this watch belong to?

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