If driver A drove car X only, and driver B drove car Y only, and driver C drove car Z only; and so on and so forth; then which of the below sentences is right (or any other sentence, but only below sentences are priority and preferred as I need to build further upon those sentences).

  1. drivers drove their respective cars.
  2. drivers drove respective cars.
  3. respective drivers drove their respective cars.
  4. respective drivers drove respective cars.
  5. drivers drove cars respectively.
  6. drivers drove their cars respectively.


Friendly Joee

  • The word "respectively" doesn't work in any of your examples (should be They drove their own cars). That's because "respectively" requires a context where the sequence of one "list" (of two or more elements) can be equated with the sequence of another previously specified list. For example, John and Jane drove the Ford and the Audi respectively, which unambiguously asserts that the sequence of the list Ford, Audi can be "mapped" on a one-to-one basis with the list John, Jane (Ford goes with John and Audi goes with Jane). Jul 12 at 12:40
  • ...I would advise avoiding respective with anything like this sense. It's a declining usage anyway, and even when it is used it rarely adds anything significant to the meaning of an utterance. Besides which respective is often used to mean respectfully, which is a completely different meaning. Jul 12 at 12:45
  • ...the first two relevant usages I found in Google Books were representatives shall be chosen every year by the voters in their respective districts and The comparison of the respective merits of cheap and dear labour might end here. I can't see that anything of significance is lost if the highlighted word is simply removed in each case. Jul 12 at 12:48
  • If you want to use it - "A, B and C drove X, Y and Z respectively." Jul 12 at 15:56

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