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In this paper we study the covering relation ( u > v ) in finitely generated free lattices. The basic result is an algorithm which, given an element w e FL( X), finds all the elements which cover or are covered by w (if any such elements exist). Using this, it is shown that covering chains in free lattices have at most five elements; in fact, all but finitely many covering chains in each free lattice contain at most three elements. Similarly, all finite intervals in FL( X) are classified;doi:10.2307/2000423 fatcat:vg7dvk5pcvgezekj3htlvedqnu