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What is the difference between respect of others and respect by others? Is there any rule that applies here?

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    Do you have some context (longer sentences) where these might be used?
    – Mitch
    Mar 28, 2012 at 18:13
  • well, actually i saw this on under the Maslow's hierarchy of needs of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maslow%27s_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg. under the esteem you can see..
    – Danial
    Mar 28, 2012 at 18:20
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    Respect for (of) others is something given; respect by others is something received. Mar 28, 2012 at 18:21
  • is there any more overall rule? or some link can explain on details? thanks you
    – Danial
    Mar 28, 2012 at 18:25
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    @Danial Have you looked up the definitions of "of" and "by" in a dictionary? Mar 28, 2012 at 18:36

2 Answers 2

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Prepositions have slippery meanings in English. Sometimes they look like one thing, other times something else.

'Respect by others' is the respect from others to oneself.

'Respect of others' ('for' would probably be clearer to you) is respect from oneself to others.

'By' and 'for' are fairly clear here, but 'of' is as ambiguous, but is pragmatically in this context obviously the respect one has for others.

There's no steadfast rule, but vaguely what I have outlined here.

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    -1: If I seek the respect of others, this has no real bearing on my respect for them. Mar 28, 2012 at 20:51
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    @FumbleFingers: see the context given by the OP in comments. the two stand in supposed contrast, therefore the intended meaning for 'of' is opposite from 'by'. I agree with you normally out of context that 'of' would be the same as 'by' here. That was the reason for the intro about slipperiness of prepositions. Or you might go so far as to say the the original had a mistake.
    – Mitch
    Mar 28, 2012 at 21:12
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    No, they don't stand in contrast. They are given in a list of "basic needs", subclass "esteem", consisting of self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others. As commented to the Q itself, I don't know what Maslow means, but it makes no sense to suppose that of all the basic "needs" a human being has, the need to be respectful of others should happen to be the only one that benefits others more than oneself. That's not so much a personal need as a requirement of stable society. Mar 28, 2012 at 21:20
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    @FumbleFingers: If someone writes "respect of others, respect by others", one assumes some coherence on their part and that they would not be trying to write the same meaning twice. So, pragmatically one takes the first one to be either a mistake, or (benefit of the doubt) just the opposite of 'by'. Would it make more sense to you if we just stated that 'of' is probably a usage error, a mistake?
    – Mitch
    Mar 28, 2012 at 21:48
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    Maslow was a professor, and this chart was his main claim to fame, so I don't really buy "mistake" anyway. And as implied before, one doesn't "need" to respect others in the same way one needs food, security, sexual intimacy, etc., so I'm forced to assume some other meaning was intended, but is perhaps too subtle to have survived as a clear concept to us now. Mar 28, 2012 at 23:17
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Respect of others is pretty much the same with respect by others (they both mean the respect that other people of the community have for you) You can focus on slight differences, such as you would say "you gain the respect of others" but "you gain respect by others", but the meaning would still be the same.

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