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Which of the followings is correct and more natural?

  • ... the samples of these classes are shown in red and blue respectively.

  • ... the samples of these classes are shown with red and blue respectively.

  • ... the samples of these classes are shown as red and blue respectively.

enter image description here

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They're all fine. If I had to rank them, I'd switch #2 and #3 because IMO “with” puts the emphasis on the act of coloration. #1 seems the most natural to me. – Tyler James Young Apr 2 '14 at 6:17
@TylerJamesYoung - Thanks, indeed I want to put the emphasis on the act of coloration. – mok Apr 2 '14 at 6:31
@TylerJamesYoung Your comment has more votes than the answers. I hope you will consider answering this question. – Damkerng T. Apr 3 '14 at 13:29
@DamkerngT. My comment is just based on native speaker instincts. I'd prefer someone to answer who knows why “in” is better here. – Tyler James Young Apr 3 '14 at 14:57
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It depends on how the samples are marked!

We use marked in if the whole thing is in red and blue.

enter image description here

We use marked with if the thing is in red/blue fonts/letters.

enter image description here

Shown as blue/red misleads me that the samples are the color themselves!

After the OP's edit and adding the image

In this case, as Tyler says, all are okay. However, I'd prefer that you mention them not merely as colors but colors and dots. Having said that, "..... the samples of these classes are shown as red and blue dots (or whatever) respectively. This'll make it clearer.

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Thanks, and I just edited my post to clarify it, please note. – mok Apr 2 '14 at 6:32
I would not say "This text is marked with red." I would say "This text is displayed in red." (Or, "...uses a red font." The color of the text is generally not a "marking".) Moreover, in the first diagram, I would say, "Some of this text is highlighted in red and yellow." – J.R. Apr 2 '14 at 10:41
@J.R. no no... what you say is correct but I wrote it personally on MS Word and wanted to say that this is how the text is marked with red. It has become interesting though. – Maulik V Apr 2 '14 at 10:44
When I hear "This is marked with red," I would generally picture something like this. – J.R. Apr 2 '14 at 10:46
@MaulikV - I'll grant you that there are some contexts where the word mark may be used in the way you say. That said, I don't believe the O.P.'s question is one of them. Moreover, outside those contexts, the word is likely to be misinterpreted. – J.R. Apr 2 '14 at 13:05

If you are referring to paint colour, the first sentence is the most acceptable. When talking about colours "in" is the preposition most used. Do you remember " The woman in red"?

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