# Transitive relation

As a non-mathematical example, the relation "is an ancestor of" is transitive. For example, if Amy is an ancestor of Becky, and Becky is an ancestor of Carrie, then Amy, too, is an ancestor of Carrie.

"Is greater than", "is at least as great as", and "is equal to" (equality) are transitive relations on various sets, for instance, the set of real numbers or the set of natural numbers:

The relation "is the birth parent of" on a set of people is not a transitive relation. However, in biology the need often arises to consider birth parenthood over an arbitrary number of generations: the relation "is a birth ancestor of" *is* a transitive relation and it is the transitive closure of the relation "is the birth parent of".