related greatly

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Senior Member
Dear all,
this is from the story The House of the Head by Josh Malerman. Elvie had a dollhouse, where dolls [Ethan and his parents] lived.

The sizes of the nuclear families [of Elvie and Ethan] were the same; three people total in each: mom, dad, child. Elvie had her parents just like Ethan had his. For this, she related greatly to the brown-haired boy who called the dollhouse home.

Does related greatly mean that she thought Ethan and his parents close relatives of herself?
Or she told Ethan with an air of importance about the families?
  • PaulQ

    English - England
    To relate [+ to + someone (occasionally, 'something')] -> To understand or have empathy for someone; to identify with, or feel a connection to, someone.

    relate - Dictionary of English
    WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
    re•late /rɪˈleɪt/ v., -lat•ed, -lat•ing.

    4 to have or establish a sympathetic relationship or understanding:[~ + to + object]The two sisters were unable to relate to each other.
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