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Thread: Respectively

  1. #1
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Default Respectively

    Is "respectively" necessary in the sentence below? It doesn't seem to be to me.

    "Suppose, for example, that three major washing machine manufacturers operating, respectively, in the Netherlands, France, and Belgium agree that each will supply its own washing machines only to distributors located in its own national territory."

    Thanks!

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    Coolfootluke is offline Member
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    Default Re: Respectively

    I am not a teacher.

    It is necessary, sort of, but it is used wrongly ("respectively" does not mean that). Without it, it is not clear that each manufacturer is in one and only one country, but the writer picked a wrong word in an attempt to be concise. The sentence would be better as something like, "Suppose, for example, that three major washing machine manufacturers operating each in a different country, in the Netherlands, France, and Belgium, agree that each will supply its own washing machines only to distributors located in its own national territory."
    Last edited by Coolfootluke; 13-Feb-2011 at 00:54. Reason: not teacher

  3. #3
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Respectively

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolfootluke View Post
    I am not a teacher.

    It is necessary, sort of, but it is used wrongly ("respectively" does not mean that). Without it, it is not clear that each manufacturer is in one and only one country, but the writer picked a wrong word in an attempt to be concise. The sentence would be better as something like, "Suppose, for example, that three major washing machine manufacturers operating each in a different country, in the Netherlands, France, and Belgium, agree that each will supply its own washing machines only to distributors located in its own national territory."
    To me "respectively" doesn't seem necessary. You have three washing machine manufacturers and three countries. If two of the manufacturers operated in the same country, it would be unnecessary to name three countries in the example. That is why I automatically assumed that it's one manufacturer per country.

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    Coolfootluke is offline Member
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    Default Re: Respectively

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    To me "respectively" doesn't seem necessary. You have three washing machine manufacturers and three countries. If two of the manufacturers operated in the same country, it would be unnecessary to name three countries in the example. That is why I automatically assumed that it's one manufacturer per country.
    If the reader has to assume anything, the writer was unclear, and the writing is meaningless. Writing should yield its meaning unambiguously upon close examination.

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Respectively

    "Respectively" is used when you want to match up a list of items with a second list. You could say something like GM, Toyota and Volkswagen are the number one car companies in the US, Japan, and Germany, respectively. Meaning GM is in the US, Toyota in Japan and VW in Germany.

  6. #6
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    Khosro is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Respectively

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "Respectively" is used when you want to match up a list of items with a second list. You could say something like GM, Toyota and Volkswagen are the number one car companies in the US, Japan, and Germany, respectively. Meaning GM is in the US, Toyota in Japan and VW in Germany.
    If there is a need for further explaination, I would add that each item on the first list should be matched with an item on the second list in order of naming. (I don't approve of my using of "in order of naming". Any correction would be appreciated.)

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    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Respectively

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "Respectively" is used when you want to match up a list of items with a second list. You could say something like GM, Toyota and Volkswagen are the number one car companies in the US, Japan, and Germany, respectively. Meaning GM is in the US, Toyota in Japan and VW in Germany.
    But in my example the author didn't specify the manufacturers; he simply stated that there were three of them.

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    Khosro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Respectively

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    But in my example the author didn't specify the manufacturers; he simply stated that there were three of them.
    Then don't use it. Coolfootluce suggestion is a good one. You might also use "exclusively" to avoid writing too much "each" But I am not sure about it.

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Respectively

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    If there is a need for further explaination, I would add that each item on the first list should be matched with an item on the second list in order of naming. (I don't approve of my using of "in order of naming". Any correction would be appreciated.)
    That is what "respectively" means. That the order in the first list matches that in the second.

  10. #10
    Khosro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Respectively

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    That is what "respectively" means. That the order in the first list matches that in the second.
    Thank you and sorry if I change the topic, I just want to know if "in order of naming" has a correct collocation and grammar. Though I can just forget about it and say it as you said it:"The order in the ... in the second".

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