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the use of respectively



 
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the use of respectively #1 (permalink) Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:44 pm   the use of respectively
 

Hi All,

I often talk with people from not English origin. (or should I write: with not native English people?)

I've never heard them using the word respectively. I must admit that I don't use that word either. It isn't easy to use in contrast to the German or Hungarian language.

I can't insert the word respectively into the following sentence:

How or where can I change the setting for that?

Perhaps this way?

How or where respectively can I change the setting for that?
How and where respectively can I change the setting for that?
Attila
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the use of respectively #2 (permalink) Thu Aug 02, 2007 13:44 pm   the use of respectively
 

Hi Attila

The word respectively is completely unnecessary in your sentence and adding it would simply sound unnatural.

I noticed a great love of the word respectively when I was teaching in Germany, and this was apparently because the German word is used much more often in German than the English word is used in English. My German students frequently wanted to use respectively when they wrote in English. Nine times out of ten I'd have to tell them they should simply leave it out in English.
.
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the use of respectively #3 (permalink) Fri Aug 03, 2007 21:08 pm   the use of respectively
 

Part of the problem is that a certain word or other in each Central European language is defined in bilingual dictionaries as "respectively", even though it doesn't mean anything like what "respectively" means in English. In German the word is "beziehungsweise", and in Czech it's "př?padně". Hungarian's probably got a word that's used the same way.

Most of the time, when one of these words is used in those languages, it is best translated into English as "or". They'll say something like (in my part-English, part-German rendition):

You should go to the clinic, [beziehungsweise] your private doctor.

You can see that in a sentence like that, which I find to be the most common usage of the word "beziehungsweise" or "př?padně", it's just a fancy way to say "or".

I have never seen the alleged equivalents of "respectively" used in German or Czech the way they are in English. Here is how we usually use it in English:

Tom and Jim are 10 and 8 years old, respectively.

This means that Tom is 10, and Jim is 8.

Jennifer and Ekaterina take English and Russian literature, respectively.

It means that Jennifer takes English literature and Ekaterina takes Russian literature.
Jamie (K)
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the use of respectively #4 (permalink) Fri Aug 03, 2007 23:21 pm   the use of respectively
 

Jamie (K) wrote:
In German the word is "beziehungsweise"
There is also the German word respektive -- which means basically the same thing as beziehungsweise, but creates more of a problem as a "false friend". In the area of Germany where I lived (and in the companies I did work in), the German word respektive was used quite often -- with the practically inevitable result that it usually ended up (mis)translated as "respectively".
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the use of respectively #5 (permalink) Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:11 am   the use of respectively
 

Quote:
Tom and Jim are 10 and 8 years old, respectively.


So, would you say that the comma before respectively is a must? I mean--can I drop it and let the sentence appear natural at the same time?

Tom
Tom
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the use of respectively #6 (permalink) Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:16 am   the use of respectively
 

I don't think the comma is completely necessary, but I think it's better to have it in there.
Jamie (K)
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Re: the use of respectively #7 (permalink) Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:46 am   Re: the use of respectively
 

Jamie (K) wrote:
Here is how we usually use it in English:

Tom and Jim are 10 and 8 years old, respectively.

This means that Tom is 10, and Jim is 8.

Jennifer and Ekaterina take English and Russian literature, respectively.

It means that Jennifer takes English literature and Ekaterina takes Russian literature.


The commas aren't needed in these examples. You should only use commas with respectively when they are needed for clarification.
AnWulf
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