I am confused of using plural or singular form to explain some parameters listed sequentially and separated by comma. compare:

X,Y, and Z are length, width, and height (, respectively)..

X,Y, and Z is length, width, and height (, respectively).

Now questions:

  1. Plural or Singular ? Is there any difference?

  2. Is the adverb respectively essential to avoid confusion ?


Edition: Adding Context

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  • 1
    Given that it produces confusion, why not just say, "X is length, Y is width, and Z is height." No need to think plural/singular, no need to add "respectively"... – Victor Bazarov Oct 6 '15 at 19:08
  • Because, 1) (my tought)its really wordy. 2) (real reason) I have never seen such a sentence in the academic papers. – Cardinal Oct 6 '15 at 21:16
  • 1) It's longer only by a few characters, 2) "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", perhaps all those authors like to save a few taps on the keyboard... – Victor Bazarov Oct 6 '15 at 21:22
  • @VictorBazarov Dear, victor how can I post the IEEE journals here ? However, I am going to put a link so that you can read it. – Cardinal Oct 6 '15 at 21:23
  • What for, Your Eminence? If you see the pattern and like it, just follow it. Why bother asking here? – Victor Bazarov Oct 6 '15 at 21:28

Nouns linked by "and" agree with "are", "is" is not correct.

Normally "respectively" is required to avoid confusion when givigng instructions to solve a problem. Not adding "repsectively" seems to be a question asking people to solve which one is length among x,y,z.

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