the difference between "relation" and "relationship"


I am often confused about these two words.


shall I use "relation" or "relationship" in the following sentence:


The business and government relation is always complicated.


The relationship between business and government is always complicated.



asked Oct 31 '13 at 15:04 Qiaoshang New member

1 answer


Lewis just answered this question last week.  Grammarly doesn't do a great job of pointing out the search tool, so I thought I would point it out.  A lot of questions are repeated and can be found if you type in the search field. 


Lewis wrote:

They are often used interchangeably, but 'relationship' usually refers to a connection between people and 'relation' to a connection between things.



Though business and government are technically entities (things) and there is indeed a relation between the two, you are talking about what is complicated.  That is likely to be the relationships between the people running the businesses and the governments.  I would use relationships in this context.

link answered Oct 31 '13 at 18:19 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

Thank you Patty! I am new to the site. It's good to know I can search similar questions.

QiaoshangOct 31 '13 at 18:25

Also thanks for the answer!

QiaoshangOct 31 '13 at 18:25

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