# 1 cat in 3 boxes vs 3 cats in 3 boxes

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#### bubeepbu

##### Member
Dear all,

I am confused about how to write a correct sentence for the situation below.

1) Andy puts a cat in three boxes - A, B and C.
One cat only and the same cat. First, he puts the cat in Box A then Box B then Box C.
Can I say, Andy puts a cat in three boxes, A, B and C, individually?

2) Andy puts a cat in three boxes - A, B and C.
So, there is a total of 3 cats.
Can I say, Andy puts a cat in three respective boxes, A, B and C?

• #### a little edgy

##### Senior Member
For the first meaning, I suggest "sequentially," rather than "individually" ("... three boxes, A, B and C, sequentially"), to make it clear that he was putting the same cat in a series of three boxes, one after the other.

For the second, you could add "each of" before "boxes" - "... puts a cat in each of three boxes ..." - which makes clear that there are three cats, one in each box.

#### morzh

##### Banned
1) No, sounds clumsy.
"One box at a time" or "in sequence" could be used here.

2)Andy puts a cat in each of the boxes A, B and C.

##### Senior Member
I would also use "the" cat in the first example as a clue to the reader that it's the same cat.

#### bubeepbu

##### Member
thank you guys for ur help.

#### a little edgy

##### Senior Member
I agree, Copyright, but that would require a previous reference to the cat, wouldn't it?

Andy had a dog and a cat. He put the cat in ...

##### Senior Member
I agree, Copyright, but that would require a previous reference to the cat, wouldn't it?

Andy had a dog and a cat. He put the cat in ...
Perhaps not on a test question where you're expected to imagine the situation.

#### heypresto

##### Senior Member
thank you guys for ur help.