How can I use "respectively" in this situtation?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by realnumber, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. realnumber New Member

    chinese, China
    I want to say "Alice does 1 and Bob does 2, or Alice does 2 and Bob does 1". How can say it in an efficient way with some adverb like respectively? Thanks
     
  2. sonix

    sonix Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain
    To use the word `respectively´, you should say something like `Alice and Bob do 1 and 2 respectively ´ , meaning that Alice does 1 and Bob does 2.

    Hope it helped.
     
  3. rubes1 Senior Member

    Israel
    United States, English
    I do not quite understand your question, but respectively does not need to be used in this case. Here is an example in which I would use respectively:

    "Government expenditure rose from 23 percent of GDP in 1993 to 37.9 percent and 42 percent in 1996 and 2000, respectively."

    In this example we use "respectively" in order to link the 37.9 percent to 1996 and the 42 percent to 2000, otherwise their might be confusion.

    If you give me more context in what you need to say, I might be able to help.;)
     
  4. realnumber New Member

    chinese, China
    Thanks for replying.

    What I wanted to say is something (too technical to be quoted here) like this:

    If Alice plays both the black and white keys, there would be Mazart.
    If Bob plays both the black and white keys, there would be Bethoven.

    If Alice and Bob play the black and white keys, respectively, or
    if Bob and Alice play the white and black keys, respectively,
    there would be Realnumber.

    Isn't it too clumsy to write this way? Sorry for I am not a native speaker of English.

    Regards to all,
     
  5. rubes1 Senior Member

    Israel
    United States, English
    First of all, we are all here to learn, so no need to apologize!;) Nobody is perfect! That is why forums like this exist.

    Now, first of all it is Mozart & Beethoven... Second, these are conditional phrases, so it should either be:

    play + will
    played + would

    If Alice and Bob played the black and white keys, respectively,
    there would be Realnumber.

    In the above sentence you are saying that Alice played the black keys & Bob played the white keys...

    Hope this was helpful!
     
  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    As one who doesn't like to use respectively, here is a suggestion.

    If Alice plays the black keys and Bob the white, or
    if Bob plays the black keys, and Alice the white,
    there would be Realnumber.
     
  7. realnumber New Member

    chinese, China
    Thanks for all the corrections again. I just start to understand why so many people suggest not to use too much "respectively". After reading Panjandrum's revision, I found using "respectively" gave readers the burden to interpret. Am I in the right direction?
     
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I suppose respectively is necessary sometimes, but as you suggest, it does require the reader to interpret the meaning. If there is another easier way to say the same thing, I would prefer it.

    Perhaps if there were more people, and more colours of keys, it would be necessary to use respectively.

    Picking up on rubes1's point, I'm not sure what you mean by "... there would be Realnumber."
     
  9. realnumber New Member

    chinese, China
    This situation was encoountered when I was writing a technical paper to explain what would happen if the two steps of a process had been conducted with two different methods. It could be something like this:

    If the material has been put in the Nitrogen-rich atmosphgere during both the heating and the cooling procedures, the surface of the sample will be ... .... (503 words omitted).

    If the material has been put in the Hydrogen-rich atmosphgere during both the heating and the cooling procedures, the surface of the sample will be ... .... (432 words omitted).

    If the material has been put in the Nitrogen- and Hydrogen-rich atmosphgeres during the heating and the cooling procedures, respectively,
    or if the material has been put in the Hydrogen- and Nitrogen-rich atmosphgeres during the heating and the cooling procedures, respectively, the surface of the sample will be ... .... (722 words omitted).

    (The two "if" connected by an "or" is used to note that the order is not important but important is that the two steps are processed differently ... However, in the context I could not write like "If the two steps are processed in different atmospheres, the surface ...." because there are also other types of atmospheres discussed in the essay.)


    Another question regarding using "would" or "will": I was thinking that "would" should be used in talking about something only occurring under fictional circumstances, but I seem wrong according to rubes1's post.

    Thanks again.
     
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    In your wonderfully complex examples, respectively seems entirely appropriate and I can find no convenient alternative:)

    Regarding will and would, I think you are correct.
    If your sentences use "If ..... has been ...", I will expect will to be used.
    If they had used "If .... had been ...", I would expect would.

    Of course there are differing opinions on this topic here:) My preference is based on gut feel and experience. Others can refer to rules and guidelines.
     
  11. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    I think there's a little confusion here, you wrote:

    You can write either :

    If Alice plays both the black and white keys, there will be Mazart.
    If Bob plays both the black and white keys, there will be Bethoven.

    (If + present tense clause, the verb in the main clause is in the future tense.)

    or
    If Alice played both the black and white keys, there would be Mazart.
    If Bob played both the black and white keys, there would be Bethoven.

    (If + past tense clause, the verb in the main clause is in the conditional tense.)

    Which one you should use depends on what you want to say. The first one has present or future meaning and it is quite probable that the action in if-clause will take place. Second one has also present or future meaning but the past tense in if-clause is not a true past it is subjunctive-indicating unreality or improbability. You use the second type mainly when you think the action in the if-clause is not likely to happen or when the supposition is contrary to the known facts.


    IMHO, what you want here is type first since it is a technical work and all processes are rather likely (if not bound) to take place. For such things type 1 of conditional sentences is used.
    You can go even a step further and use a little bit modified type 1, which is employed to express automatic or habitual results, for instance:
    If you heat snow, it turns into water. (will turn is also possible)
    If they rise oil prices, prices of many products go up. (will go up is also possible)

    Hope this helps,
    Thomas
     
  12. Sahashra New Member

    UK - English & Sinhala
    Hi, Noone has understood the right question. You have asked How to use "Alice does 1 and Bob does 2, or Alice does 2 and Bob does 1" in a sentence giving sense and meaning using the word "respectively".

    This is how you should simply write it;

    Alice and Bob do 1 and 2 respectively or vice versa.

    respectively emphasises that the first person does the first thing and the second person does the second thing in order.
    vice versa explains that the given order could be reversed.

    So, it clearly say that "Alice does 1 and Bob does 2 or Alice does 2 and Bob does 1"

    Good Luck to everybody.
     
  13. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    I think you're looking for "vice versa".

    Alice will do the dishes, and Bob will mow the lawns, or vice versa.
     
  14. LogansMommy0223 New Member

    English - ON, Canada
    Is it crazy that almost 7 years later I come across this thread and I still want to figure out the correct way to say the sentences that were posted?

    I agree that in the original example given, with Alice and Bob, that "Alice and Bob do 1 and 2, respectively or vice versa" would be the correct way to say that.

    But with the scientific information given, would the following be the correct way to say it more succinctly? (I know this is no longer helpful to the original poster, I just want to know for my own sake).

    If the material has been put in either the Nitrogen- or Hydrogen-rich atmospheres during both the heating and the cooling procedures, the surface of the sample will be 1)what happens in Nitrogen and 2)what happens in Hydrogen, respectively.

    Alternatively, if the material has been put in both the Nitrogen- and Hydrogen-rich atmospheres during the heating and the cooling procedures, the surface of the sample will be ..., regardless of which atmosphere it was exposed to first.
     
  15. redgiant Senior Member

    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Hi,
    The following sentence is taken from this (thread)

    The sentence isn't very well-received judging by the responses from the native speakers, especially those who are not familiar with soccer. I think a rewrite is needed, and I've come up with this sentence:

    "Unless Manchester and Chelsea give up Rooney and Torres respectively, the two team would remain effective at scoring goals."

    How does the sentence sound to you? Do you think using "respectively" would be a better solution?
     
  16. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    To me, the sentence has more problems than those solved by "respectively."

    I have no idea what is meant by it. Perhaps it's my lack of knowledge of (or interest in) soccer (football)
     
  17. Cypherpunk Senior Member

    Springdale, AR
    US, English
    First, I was always taught that you need another comma (and an s). Second, after looking at this again, I think will is the better option for the second sentence, since giving up the two players is the conditional situation. Since neither of them will be going (as far as we know from this sentence), the teams will remain effective. I have no problem with respectively, other than the punctuation. Others have been taught to avoid it, and it's possible that it will sound awkward or wrong to them, regardless. There are simpler ways to say this, but I also hear it on a somewhat regular basis. It effectively explains the relationship between the two men and the two teams, and it is used correctly.
     
  18. redgiant Senior Member

    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thank you very much sdgraham and Cypherpunk~
     

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