In Pearson Scott Foresman at page 95, I read

Genetic traits are the traits that are carried from parents to their children from one generation to another.

What does "from one generation to another" mean?

Please be very simple, English isn't my native language.

  • Welcome to Biology.SE. Can you please indicate where the quotation is from?
    – Remi.b
    Jan 6, 2017 at 10:32
  • My biology textbook. Jan 6, 2017 at 10:34
  • What textbook is that? Is it the Campbell? What page? Note that having a link to the source won't change much for this question but as a principle, a quotation must not remain out of context.
    – Remi.b
    Jan 6, 2017 at 10:36
  • Pearson Scott Foresman. P95 Jan 6, 2017 at 10:38
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about biology. It would be much better suited at English Language Learners.
    – MattDMo
    Jan 6, 2017 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


Welcome to Biology.SE!

from one generation to another is equivalent to

  • from parents to their children
  • from any parent generation to any offspring generation
  • through time

If the expression from one generation to another really bothers you, then you can just consider the shortened sentence which bear the same meaning.

Genetic traits are the traits that are carried from parents to their children

One reason why there is this reference to generations is because it is common in population genetics models to assume for simplicity that generations are not overlapping. That is all parents reproduce only once and all die at this exact same time. As such an offspring is never alive in the same time as the parent. It is an unrealistic model for most species but it is a very helpful one.

  • Doesn't it mean the first generation and second generation? Jan 6, 2017 at 10:41
  • Yes, it mean from any parent generation to any offspring generation. Call them first and second of 35th and 36th it is the same.
    – Remi.b
    Jan 6, 2017 at 10:42
  • Ah, so what my textbook is saying that "The traits which can be transported from parents to children"right? And first generation = parents and second generation = offspring (children) Jan 6, 2017 at 11:01
  • 1
    @OkamaKsakas It's somewhat arbitrary to say first or second generation. If your parents are the first generation, you are the second, which works in this explanation just as well as when you describe your grandparents as the first generation and your parents as the second.
    – Harris
    Jan 6, 2017 at 14:35

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