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    #1

    singular/plural usage with 'respectively'

    Dear teachers,

    I have one question with the word 'respectively. The sentences goes like this.

    Andy and Alex release their toy car (or toy cars) from the rubber band (or rubber bands) respectively, and let it (or them) move ahe long the wooden plank. The distance travelled by toy cars is measured.

    This is a Science question. So, there is a fix way of asking the question. My main problem is only with the singular and plural usage with the word 'respectively'. The situation is about two boys doing experiment, by releasing their toy car from a rubber band. There are two cars and two rubber bands of cox, but I am not sure whether I have to singular instead because of the word 'respectively'.

    Plz kindly advice.

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Sheeta

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    #2

    Re: singular/plural usage with 'respectively'

    I don't think you need "respectively" in that sentence at all. The action the two are taking is identical.

    If you said "Tim and Jim have a green car and a blue car, respectively" that would tell us Tim has green and Jim has blue.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: singular/plural usage with 'respectively'

    Native speakers would use 'cars' and 'bands', and would not use 'respectively'.

    The words 'released from the rubber band' are unnatural. We'd probably say something like 'Andy and Alec used rubber bands to get their cars moving'.

    We would use 'respectively' only in such (rather formal) sentences as 'Andy and Alex had a Lotus and a Brabham respectively' = 'Andy had a Lotus and Alex had a Brabham'.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: singular/plural usage with 'respectively'

    We would also use "respectively" if they had released their cars from two different things, ie one rubber band and one slingshot.

    Andy and Alex release their toy cars from the rubber band and the slingshot respectively ...

    Andy released his from a rubber band, and Alex released his from a slingshot.

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    #5

    Re: singular/plural usage with 'respectively'

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Native speakers would use 'cars' and 'bands', and would not use 'respectively'.

    The words 'released from the rubber band' are unnatural. We'd probably say something like 'Andy and Alec used rubber bands to get their cars moving'.

    We would use 'respectively' only in such (rather formal) sentences as 'Andy and Alex had a Lotus and a Brabham respectively' = 'Andy had a Lotus and Alex had a Brabham'.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    We would also use "respectively" if they had released their cars from two different things, ie one rubber band and one slingshot.

    Andy and Alex release their toy cars from the rubber band and the slingshot respectively ...

    Andy released his from a rubber band, and Alex released his from a slingshot.

    Hi there, thanks for your reply.

    Could you please guide me how to ask the question then. Because the situation is like two persons doing the same experiment at the same time. The 'release' condition here is like playing the angry bird game.

    Plz advice. Thank you.


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