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There's this log on the farm. Two workers come in to work on the log at different times. When their work is done on the log, the log turns into a sculpture or some sort. So:

The log is shaped by the respective first and second worker.

The log is shaped by the respective workers.

Keeping respective in the above sentences, is the quantity of worker(s) correct?
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The quantity of workers is correct.

Incidently, I would say, "The log is shaped by the first and second workers respectively."

Edit. Perhaps I misunderstood. If you're asking if "worker" should be plural, for instance, in your first example, I'd say YES, but, you know, I'm not 100% sure. For me, right now, its a tossup. Sorry. I've just never heard the sentence arranged that way. In your second example, I feel confident that "workers" should be plural.

As I continue to read your first example, I believe singular is correct.

Regards, A.
Avangi
Edit. Perhaps I misunderstood. If you're asking if "worker" should be plural, for instance, in your first example, I'd say YES, but, you know, I'm not 100% sure. For me, right now, its a tossup. Sorry. I've just never heard the sentence arranged that way. In your second example, I feel confident that "workers" should be plural.

As I continue to read your first example, I believe singular is correct.

Well, I adapted from somewhere, where the original sentence is much longer and complicated. The point here is that, you can say "the first and second things", but "the respective first and second thing" because there's the respective having defining meaning?
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Hi,

There's this log on the farm. Two workers come in to work on the log at different times. When their work is done on the log, the log turns into a sculpture or some sort. So:

The log is shaped by the respective first and second worker.

The log is shaped by the respective workers.

Keeping respective in the above sentences, is the quantity of worker(s) correct?

The word 'respectively' is normally used to clarify order/sequence. There really is no potential confusion about order/sequence in your sentences, so I wouldn't use the word. I'd just say

The log is shaped by the first and second workers.

I'd use 'respectively' in a slightly more complicated sentence like this.

The sculpture's torso and limbs are shaped by the first and second workers respectively.

This makes it clear that worker #1 does the torso, and worker #2 does the limbs.

( Are you sure you don't want to use past tense? )

Best wishes, Clive
Avangi
Edit. Perhaps I misunderstood. If you're asking if "worker" should be plural, for instance, in your first example, I'd say YES, but, you know, I'm not 100% sure. For me, right now, its a tossup. Sorry. I've just never heard the sentence arranged that way. In your second example, I feel confident that "workers" should be plural.

OK, I think misunderstood the original text. Let me try again. Getting rid of adj. and alike:

A device can receive a ring to define a cavity therein. So there's a first ring and a second ring to be used, each in a separate situation, depending on what charateristics of the rings is wanted. So, the cavity is defined by the respective received first and second ring.
Clive
I'd use 'respectively' in a slightly more complicated sentence like this.

The sculpture's torso and limbs are shaped by the first and second workers respectively.

This makes it clear that worker #1 does the torso, and worker #2 does the limbs.

What about:

The sculpture's torso and limbs are shaped by each respective first and second worker.
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Hi again,

What about:

The sculpture's torso and limbs are shaped by each respective first and second worker.

No, this sounds like there are several 'first workers' and several 'second workers'.

In addition, this does not make clear that the torso and the limbs are each shaped by a different worker.

Clive
Hi Infinik,

I think part of the problem is that you're trying to make "respectively" modify the worker. It doesn't! It modifies (or describes) the relationship.

There are two jobs. There are two workers. Do they work together on the two jobs? No. One does one, one does the other. I can say, "The first worker does the second job and the second worker does the first job." That's a mess! But, unfortunately, that's the way it is. The job numbers and worker numbers do not correspond.

Now, on the other hand, if the first worker does the first job and the second worker does the second job, it's easier to describe the situation, because we have a handy word for just such occasions: "respectively." The first and second jobs are done by Joe and Jim respectively. In other words, the order in which I listed the jobs is the same order in which I listed the workers assigned to those jobs. They correspond.

"Respectively" is telling about what's going on in my sentence, not what's going on with the workers and their jobs.

P.S. "the respective received first and second ring" should be, "the respectively received first and second rings." - right?
Hi, A.
Avangi
I think part of the problem is that you're trying to make "respectively" modify the worker. It doesn't! It modifies (or describes) the relationship.

...

Now, on the other hand, if the first worker does the first job and the second worker does the second job, it's easier to describe the situation, because we have a handy word for just such occasions: "respectively." The first and second jobs are done by Joe and Jim respectively. In other words, the order in which I listed the jobs is the same order in which I listed the workers assigned to those jobs. They correspond.

"Respectively" is telling about what's going on in my sentence, not what's going on with the workers and their jobs.

P.S. "the respective received first and second ring" should be, "the respectively received first and second rings." - right?

hmm, let me understand what you are saying:

"the respective first and second workers" &

"the respectively sacked first and second workers"

where respective is an adjective modifying workers and respectively an adverb modifying sacked?
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