I can relate

Most Important Level 1

"I can relate." / "I can't relate." / "to relate to something"

Meaning: to understand a situation or somebody's feelings because you have experienced a similar situation or feelings

Similar Expressions
  • I can relate to that.
  • I understand.
  • I know what you mean.
  • I have had a similar experience.
  • I know exactly what you are talking about.
When do we use it?

We use this expression when we want to show somebody that we understand how they feel because we have had a similar experience.

For example, if my friend has a baby and he says, "Raising a baby is hard." If I also have a baby, then I have experienced a similar situation or feelings as him. So, I can say, "I can relate."

However, if I am single and I have never raised or taken care of a baby, then I cannot truly understand how my friend feels. In this case, I can express this by saying, "I cannot relate."

How do we use it?

We use this expression after listening to a person describe their personal situation and feelings or a third person's situation or feelings. Take a look at these example English conversations.

A) Ben doesn't have to work because his father is so rich.
B) I can't relate to that. I have had to work since I was 13.
A) Me too. I can't relate to Ben's life at all, but it must be nice not to have to work.

A) Married life is hard.
B) I can relate. I know exactly how you feel.
A) It is good to have somebody that we can relate to. It is helpful to talk about these things.

A) Working for a corporation is great because it is stable, but there are a lot of bad things too.
B) To be honest, I can't relate at all because I have only worked for small companies.

If you want to be great at speaking English, then you need to know a lot of English expressions, idioms, and slang. Studying with these free English lessons can help you do that. Study a few of these free English lessons each week and learn the expressions perfectly. If you do this consistently, then you will be amazed at how much your English vocabulary improves. You will be having fluent English conversations before you know it!