Here's an example using 'counterpart':

Financial advisors report that older investors tend to be more cautious than their younger counterparts.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines counterpart as someone or something that does the same job or has the same function as someone or something in another organization, etc.

So, based on my understanding, 'younger counterparts' refers to younger investors who have a similar role or function in the context of investing. The term 'counterpart' is used here to avoid repeating the phrase 'younger investors'.

There are more examples:

  • Why should women in top managerial positions earn less than their male counterparts (= male in top managerial positions)?
  • For the first time, the company's mobile video advertising has outperformed its online counterpart (= online video advertising).

Is my understanding accurate?

  • 1
    I'm not convinced "older / younger investors" is a suitable context for using counterparts. But if your only reason for using it in the first place is to avoid repeating investors, you might want to consider ...older investors tend to be more cautious than younger ones. Aug 8, 2023 at 16:52
  • 1
    counterparts isn't used to avoid repeating a phrase but to draw attention to a comparison or contrast.
    – TimR
    Aug 8, 2023 at 18:48
  • All quoted text needs to be cited. Please give proper credit to the people who wrote those sentences! (Proper citation is also useful for other reasons, including helping people to give you good answers.) Aug 9, 2023 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


Yes, the word counterparts is sometimes used in this way - to avoid repetition. In addition, using counterparts here makes it clear that the two things being talked about are similar without the reader/listener having to pay attention to so many words.

For example, if I said "The fresh, juicy, red apples in this bucket cost the same amount as the fresh, juicy, red apples in the other bucket." You, the reader, have to read "fresh, juicy, red apples" and then mentally decide if that phrase is exactly the same as the phrase I said first. Because it might be different. I could have said "The fresh, juicy, red apples in this bucket cost the same amount as the fresh, juicy, green apples in the other bucket."

Instead, Saying "The fresh, juicy, red apples in this bucket cost the same amount as their counterparts in the other bucket" shows you more easily that the only difference is which bucket the apples are in, and that everything else is the same. It helps bring your attention to the parts that matter most.

  • An example of such use would be "the minister of health spoke with her American counterpart". However, the choice of counterpart in a sentence related to investors could be misleading (counterpart vs counterparty) because a counterparty is the other party that participates in a financial transaction. Every transaction must have a counterparty in order for the transaction to go through. Every buyer must be paired up with a seller who is willing to sell and vice versa. Source
    – Graffito
    Aug 8, 2023 at 19:48
  • 1
    I think counterparts is normally used of people or organisations rather than objects, and particularly with well-defined groups like men vs women. Looking at the COCA corpora suggests most examples - maybe 75% - are human, but it's sometimes used otherwise in technical contexts (e.g. cellphones from 2 different manufacturers).
    – Stuart F
    Aug 9, 2023 at 10:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .