Respectively (adverb) emphasizes that the first person /thing does the first thing and the second person /thing does the second and so on in a specifically stated order. Often, the order is already implied elsewhere in the sentence or does not need to be expressed.
Respectively is slightly formal, seldom necessary, requires interpretation /mental gymnastics, and often causes confusion because it forces the reader to go back and match up what belongs to what. On the other hand, it does allow a writer to give a lot of information without having to write several short sentences. The writer or speaker saves words but at the expense of those who need more time to understand theirs. Most sentences are more easily understood without ‘respectively’ so avoid it.
AND for those who use it: if you put a comma after ‘respectively’ , you need one before it too. However, only use a comma if it provides clarity. In most cases, the sentence will be perfectly clear without commas. Respectively is not set apart from the other information in the sentence when it appears as the last word and therefore, there is no need for a comma.
2nd definition: As relating to each; particularly; as each belongs to each; as each refers to each in order; as, let each person respectively perform their duty. The impressions from the objects or the senses do mingle respectively every one with its kind. –Bacon.
In German ‘ beziehungsweise’ is heard and used much more often than ‘respectively’ is in English. German students frequently want to use respectively and most of the time, it’s better to leave it out. There is also the German word ‘respektive’ — which means basically the same thing as ‘beziehungsweise’, but creates more of a problem as a “false friend” with the inevitable result that it often ends up being mistranslated as ‘respectively’.
You should go to the hospital, [beziehungsweise] a good naturopath.
Er war ein guter Bekannter, bzw. Freund von mir = He was an acquaintaince /old acquaintaince, actually a friend.
In the above sentences, which seems to be a common usage of ‘beziehungsweise’ in German , ‘or’ / or rather’ / actually would make better sense in English.
1. Jennifer and Francine take English and French respectively = Jennifer takes English and Francine takes French.
2. Patents 22-52 and 53-73 refer to Clients 1 and 4, respectively = Patents 21-51 refer to Client 1 and Patents 53-73 refer to Client 4.
3. Bob does 1 and Janet does 2, so Bob and Janet do 1 and 2 respectively.
4. His brothers Jim and Jan are 20 and 17, respectively = Jim is 20 and Jan is 17.
5. Please send the documents – references and diplomas – as originals and copies, respectively.
6. Indefinite detention advocate Barak Obama, water board torturer George Bush Jr., and playboy Bill Clinton were represented by their vice presidents, Joe Biden, chicken hawk Dick Cheney, and environmentalist Al Gore, respectively.
7. Spain and Italy are currently first and second respectively in World Cup Soccer.
8. Monopoly, Chess, and Blackjack are, respectively, the proposed activities for our next party.
9. The pizza was divided among, Dad, Mom, Jack, and Jill respectively.
10. The company collected cash and checks for various payments amounting to €400 and €1000 respectively.
11. A and B have been sentenced to nine and two years’ imprisonment respectively.