1

Which one is grammatically correct?

Figure X and Figure Y show the A and B profiles,respectively. Plural form of the noun profile

Figure X and Figure Y show the A and B profile,respectively. Singular form of the noun profile

Can I also say the following?

Figures X and Y show ....... and ........,respectively.

1

I'm fairly certain that "Figure X and Figure Y show the A and B profiles, respectively." is correct however, I'm not entirely certain and both sound equally valid.

The reason that they both sound valid is likely because the speaker usually makes an effort to emphasize the parallel structure when using "respectively" (perhaps to avoid the problem you pointed out). I believe it is more natural to phrase your statement:

Figure X and Figure Y show the A profile and the B profile, respectively.

This emphasizes that the two profiles are separate and removes any ambiguity in the original sentence. Usually, when "respectively" is used, there is a one to one correlation explicit in the sentence.

Another way to think of it is that "respectively" is used to combine what should be two sentences into one by not restating the verb.

Figure X shows the A profile.
Figure Y shows the B profile.
Figure X and Figure Y show the A profile and the B profile, respectively.

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