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Relive vs. Relieve

Often, English users can get confused between similar sounding words. One doesn’t need to know exact spellings while talking but while writing, usage of the wrong word may lead to confusions. In this article, let us understand the difference between the similar looking words relive and relieve.

2:24 min read
  Ramya Shankar  —  Grammar Tips
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Relive is to live an experience or memory again (re+live). Relive can be written with the ‘-‘ symbol as re-live as well. It is a verb that became more popular in its usage during 2000’s. When you relive something, you tend to remember an incident or experience of the past very clearly, as if you are living through it once again. Relive can be associated with both pleasant and unpleasant memories and experiences. Examples

·    We like to relive the old college days whenever we both meet.

·    She tries to avoid sleeping for long hours as she relives the horrible incident in her dreams.

·    They relived their dream by visiting the same place, where they had met exactly 10 years ago.

·    One can relive their memories now as scientists can help reconstruct them artificially by activating only some parts of the brain.

·    Reliving your dreams can make you happy and content with life.

Recall vs relive

Recalling a memory is just remembering the set of events that have happened in the past. Contrarily, reliving is to imagine experiencing everything again, as if you are present in the moments.


Relieve means to free someone of their duties by replacing them.

·    The guard was relieved of his duties after he showed inappropriate behaviour at work place.

·    The airport staff relieved her from carrying the baggage by providing an escort.

Relieve oneself can also mean attend to nature’s call.

·    Kids should be trained not to relieve themselves in public places, from an early age.

·    After a long journey, everyone wanted to relieve themselves.

Relive vs. Relieve

Another meaning of relieve is to cause a suffering or pain to become less severe than before.

·    Take the tablet twice a day to relieve the pain.

·    Taking enough rest after an intense workout can relieve the pain in joints and thighs.

Relieve is a verb, whereas relief is a noun and relieve means to give relief.

In the above example, we can replace the word relieve with ‘provide relief’ –

Taking enough rest after an intense workout can provide relief from the pain in joints and thighs.

From the above, we have observed that relive and relieve have no connection whatsoever.

While talking,

remember to stress on the word ‘re’ and pronounce it as ‘ree’ while saying relive,


stress more on ‘lie’ and pronounce it as ‘lee’ in relieve.

Here are few examples that can make the difference and usage clearer –

·    You can relive your college life after you are relieved of your duties towards your children.

·    Relieve yourself from the guilt of scolding him by reliving the moments you spent with him few years back.

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