Pointing to a woman, Abhijit said, "Her granddaughter is the only daughter of my brother." How is the woman related to Abhijit?

  1. Sister
  2. Grandmother
  3. Mother-in-law
  4. Mother

Source of the question: IndiaBix

As per the above link, answer is given as Mother. I agree that Mother can be one possible answer. But I also think Mother-in-law can also be another possible answer because granddaughter is possible in either of two ways for current question

  1. For Abhijit's brother's wife's mother, child can be called granddaughter.
  2. For Abhijit's/his brother's mother, child can be called granddaughter.

If it is case-1 then answer is Mother-in-law because Abhijit's brother's wife's mother is mother-in-law for both Abhijit and his brother or if it is case-2 then answer is Mother.

If my explanation regarding Mother-in-law as an answer is wrong then please frame the current question so that Mother-in-law should be the answer.

  • $\begingroup$ You can make your answer more rigorous by considering the following situation: Abhijit's wife and his brother's wife are sisters, and the woman is the mother of the sisters. Abhijit and his wife doesn't have child while his brother has a single daughter. The other two answers cannot be explained without some sort of incest, by an argument of generation. $\endgroup$ – WhatsUp May 8 at 17:30
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    $\begingroup$ Mother-in-law is the mother of your own spouse, not the mother of your brother's wife. From the information given, it is either Abhijit's mother or Abhijit's brother's mother-in-law. However, if Abhijit and brother married siblings (it happens!) that would make the woman Abhijit's mother-in-law as well. However, these is not enough information given to confirm or deny this. $\endgroup$ – Stewart Becker May 8 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ I was thinking this was translated from Hindi, which has different words for paternal and maternal grandmother, but the word "grandmother" doesn't actually appear in the question. Maybe something else was lost in translation. $\endgroup$ – Kruga May 10 at 8:16

The only way to get that MIL answer is for Abhijit to marry the woman's daughter. This is achievable by him marrying one of his niece's maternal aunts or him marrying the polyandrous mother of his "niece". Tbh, all the answers given is possible in specifically special circumstances, but usually those are too embarrassing to be talked about in polite company. Even if you don't consider incest as a possibility, the number of family members increase not just by birth but also marriage, some with additional half or step siblings so a sibling of his is not necessarily his brother's siblings, too, unless they both share the same set of parents. Mother is and always will be the natural answer that will come to mind first before any other, since this would be the woman who was responsible to relate Abhijit to his brother and the man's daughter in the first place. Rather than forcing a remote possibility of a MIL (or other) answer in the original problem, you can introduce new characters that will shift the relationship status between Abhijit and his brother's MIL or just remove the option of "Mother" while using the word "most probable" in the problem statement.


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