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Is the following sentence grammatically correct? What could be an appropriate form to imply the similar meaning in technical writing?

Use one of the following relations depending on whether X is used with or without reference, respectively.

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closed as off topic by tchrist, simchona Dec 6 '12 at 17:02

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1 Answer

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Yes, it is grammatically correct, but pretty obtuse. I'm also not sure if respectively can be used to refer to objects that have not yet been listed, but the intent is clear either way. A simpler phrasing might be:

There are two relations listed below. If X is used with reference, use the first relation. If X is used without reference, use the second relation.

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I have the same problem with "respectively". My Taiwanese authors usually use it to mean "separately", so in the OP's sentence, it'd mean when used with a reference and when used without a reference. –  user21497 Dec 6 '12 at 22:07
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