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Relatively vs. Comparatively: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 8, 2024
Relatively means "in relation to something else"; Comparatively means "in comparison to another or others."
Relatively vs. Comparatively

Key Differences

Relatively refers to something being considered in relation or proportion to something else. It often implies a subjective assessment based on context or a specific set of conditions. Comparatively, on the other hand, denotes a more direct and explicit comparison between two or more items, suggesting a more objective or measurable assessment.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024
When using relatively, the comparison is usually implicit, focusing on how one thing is understood in the context of another. For instance, a day might be relatively warm compared to usual winter temperatures. Comparatively suggests a more explicit and direct comparison, often involving concrete differences. For example, saying a material is comparatively stronger than another implies a measurable difference in strength.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024
Relatively often introduces a sense of subjectivity or personal perspective, where the comparison depends on one's viewpoint or situation. For instance, a task may be relatively easy for an expert but hard for a novice. In contrast, comparatively tends to be used in contexts where the comparisons are more universal or widely accepted, based on more objective criteria.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024
In usage, relatively is often applied to express a degree or extent when considering external factors or conditions. It's frequently used in discussions where absolutes are not applicable. Comparatively is more likely to be used in contexts where two or more entities are being examined side by side, often with a focus on highlighting differences or similarities.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024
The word relatively can sometimes imply a moderate or less extreme position when considering a spectrum of possibilities. Comparatively often implies a clearer, more direct contrast, where the differences or similarities between the subjects are the main focus of the statement.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Focus

Subjective assessment; relative to context
Direct comparison; more objective
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Comparison Type

Implicit; relational
Explicit; measurable
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Perspective

Personal, situational
Universal, objective
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Usage Context

Expressing degree or extent with external factors
Side by side examination; highlighting differences/similarities
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Implication

Often moderate or less extreme
Clearer, more direct contrast
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Jan 08, 2024
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Relatively and Comparatively Definitions

Relatively

Comparatively, but not absolutely.
He is relatively unknown in the art world.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Comparatively

In a relative manner; in comparison with others.
Her performance was comparatively better.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Relatively

To a certain degree, especially when compared with other things.
Prices have remained relatively stable.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Comparatively

In relation to, or in proportion to something specified.
The cost is comparatively small.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Relatively

In a manner that is appropriate to the circumstances.
They were relatively calm after hearing the news.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023
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Comparatively

As compared to something else.
This method is comparatively faster.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Relatively

In proportion to something else.
The book is relatively easy for her to read.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Comparatively

Used to suggest that something is relatively small or insignificant.
The changes were comparatively minor.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Relatively

In relation to something else.
The process is relatively straightforward.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Comparatively

Relating to, based on, or involving comparison.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Relatively

In a relative manner; in comparison with something else
A relatively minor problem.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Comparatively

Of or relating to the scientific or historical comparison of different phenomena, institutions, or objects, such as languages, legal systems, or anatomical structures, in an effort to understand their origins or relationships.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Relatively

Proportionally, in relation to some larger scale thing.
He measured his success relatively, that is, competitively.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Comparatively

Estimated by comparison; relative
A comparative newcomer.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Relatively

Somewhat.
He was relatively successful.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Comparatively

(Grammar) Of, relating to, or being the intermediate degree of comparison of adjectives, as better, sweeter, or more wonderful, or adverbs, as more softly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Relatively

In a relative manner; in relation or respect to something else; not absolutely.
Consider the absolute affections of any being as it is in itself, before you consider it relatively.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Comparatively

The comparative degree.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Relatively

In a relative manner; by comparison to something else;
The situation is relatively calm now
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Comparatively

An adjective or adverb expressing the comparative degree.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Comparatively

In a comparative manner.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Comparatively

When compared to other entities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Comparatively

According to estimate made by comparison; relatively; not positively or absolutely.
With but comparatively few exceptions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Comparatively

In a relative manner; by comparison to something else;
The situation is relatively calm now
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Comparatively

To a moderate degree as compared to something else.
The risks involved are comparatively low.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can "relatively" indicate a moderate degree?

Yes, it often suggests a moderate or less extreme position.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Can "comparatively" be used to show contrast?

Yes, it's often used to highlight differences between things.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Is "relatively" absolute or subjective?

It's subjective and depends on context.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Does "comparatively" require a direct comparison?

Yes, it implies a more direct and measurable comparison.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Can "comparatively" be used for similar things?

Yes, it can compare similarities as well as differences.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Is "relatively" used in informal contexts?

Yes, it's common in both informal and formal contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Can "relatively" suggest a personal perspective?

Yes, it often includes a subjective viewpoint.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Can "comparatively" be used without stating what is compared?

Usually, the comparison is either stated or clearly implied.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

What does "relatively" imply in a sentence?

It implies a comparison in relation to something else, often subjectively.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

How does "relatively" differ in scientific writing?

It's used to denote relationships rather than exact measurements.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Does "comparatively" imply a lesser or greater degree?

It can imply either, depending on the context.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Is "comparatively" a formal word?

It's formal and used in both academic and professional contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Is "comparatively" suitable for objective assessments?

Yes, it's more suited for objective, clear comparisons.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Does "relatively" always imply a comparison?

Yes, but the comparison might be implicit or indirect.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Can "relatively" be used in quantitative analysis?

Yes, but with an emphasis on relational rather than absolute values.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Does "relatively" always need a reference point?

Typically, yes, it relates to another entity or situation.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Is "comparatively" ever used in a non-comparative sense?

Rarely, as its primary function is to compare.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Does "comparatively" work well in qualitative analysis?

Yes, especially when comparing qualities directly.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Can "relatively" change its meaning based on context?

Yes, its meaning can vary depending on the surrounding context.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Is "comparatively" used in scientific contexts?

Yes, especially when precise comparisons are needed.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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