respective


respective
respective, respectively
are useful words when two or more items need to be distinguished (in the order in which they occur, when they are named separately) in relation to what follows in the sentence:

• MEPs are paid the same as national MPs in their respective countries —Which?, 1984

• Nicole Kidman and Ralph Fiennes, who starred for Minghella in Cold Mountain and The English Patient respectively, will head the cast —Times, 2007.

In the first of these examples, the presence of respective shows that the national MPs are paid at different levels depending on their countries, and in the second the presence of respectively shows that the two actors starred separately, each in one film and not together in both. In other cases, respective (in particular) is redundant or replaceable by a simpler word such as own or various:

• The parade dispersed, the Commandos returning to their respective units, and soon the village green was quiet —B. Millin, 1991.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms: