I'm using Siri in German, and one of the examples mentions the command:

Meine Mutter ist Diana Pelzl

That is, My mother is Diana Pelzl. So, I say something similar to the above German sentence, and Siri comes up with:

Okay, should I remember that Diana Pelzl is your Mother?

Of course, I tap Yes. Now, Siri replies:

Sorry, I can't add the relationship for this account.

Why would it say so?


Syncing Google Contacts via CardDAV will allow you to store the relationship information in your address book entry. See iOS: Syncing with Google Contacts for instructions.


I had the same problem, hopefully your problem is occurring for the same reason, and the following solution will help you.

Step 1: Make sure you have set up iCloud for your iPhone, which I am sure you have.

Step 2: Go to Settings>iCloud and turn off Contacts. If you are experiencing the same problem I had (i.e. no iCloud contacts set up) it will not matter if you delete or save when prompted, that is up to you.

Step 3: Delete the current contact that is assigned to your iPhone/Siri (this will also remove it under "My Info" in the Siri settings).

Step 4: Go to iCloud.com on a computer, log in, and select Contacts. Now press the + button on the bottom right of the first "page," and create a contact with your name/information.

Step 5: Once created, select your contact, press the Settings button on the bottom left, and choose Make this my card.

Step 6: On your iPhone again, return to Settings>iCloud and turn Contacts back on, selecting merge when prompted.

Step 7: Go to Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calenders; scroll down to the section under the Contacts heading, select Default Account and choose iCloud.

Step 8: Return to your contacts.

a) if your name is already there (matching the one you created at iCloud.com). Select it and look under the Linked Cards heading, to make sure that there is a link to your iCloud contact. Also, check under Settings>General>Siri to make sure that it has the the contact in the My info box.

b) if it is not there, create a new contact, and enter your first and last name exactly as it is entered in iCloud (it is not necessary to provide information beyond your first and last name). Now press done, and you should see your iCloud account appear below the Linked Cards heading. Select the iCloud account and you can make changes to the contact from your phone, including adding relationships that will work with Siri (e.g. Mother, Father, Brother, etc.). You should also be able to use Siri as you have tried in the past, but only got the "I can't add that relationship to this account" response.

Optional Step 9: If it still does not work, you may want to try using this process to add your important "relations" contacts to your Contacts List via iCloud.com, and adding the relationships to you contact on iCloud.com as well.

I hope this helps! Good luck!


I solved this problem by activating the synchronisation of the contacts with iCloud in addition to Exchange.


Siri does not work well with Exchange, maybe even not at all. But I know that for example Siri Reminders also do not work if you have synced them with Exchange, because Exchange does only know Tasks, not Reminders on top.

For the address book I remember that Exchange cards only support 3 addresses, while iCloud addresses support more which you might need for Siri to define other addresses at which Siri should remind you of something (a.k.a. geo-fences).

So I am almost sure that it has something to do with your Exchange account, possibly their cards don't support relationships? Or Siri has just not been trained to change the content of Exchange cards?

  • The funny thing is that the iPhone's Google Mail account doesn't offer contact sync at all (just calendar, mail, and notes), so I probably have no other way of getting my Google contacts to the iPhone. I think you're right – no Exchange support for these fields would be a possible explanation.
    – slhck
    Mar 31 '12 at 21:54

You can add a contact containing only the first and last name of your mother to the iCloud account. This contact will automatically be linked to the 'real' contact and Siri can store its/her additional information in the iCloud which makes things like "Call my mother", "mail my girlfriend" possible even with Exchange / Google / ... acounts.

  • When I create a new contact, I'll duplicated contacts in my Address Book. I don't even know if they're stored in Exchange or iCloud at that point. Is there even any way to specifically force it to create an iCloud contact? If so, can I merge it with the Exchange contact?
    – slhck
    Apr 19 '12 at 9:38

These instructions for Syncing google with your device are quite outdated, you should look at syncing itunes with your google account, in which case you no longer have to run an exchange account. This can be done in the info tab once you plug your phone in to iTunes.

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