The Vedanta Sutras of Badarayana, Commentary by Sankara (SBE38), tr. by George Thibaut  at sacred-texts.com
22. But on account of their distinctive nature there is a (distinctive) designation of them.
The word 'but' repels the objection raised. By 'distinctive nature' we have to understand preponderance. Although all things are tripartite, yet we observe in different places a preponderance of different elements; heat preponderates in fire, water in all that is liquid, food in earth. This special tripartition aims at rendering possible the distinctions and terms of ordinary life. For if the tripartition resulted in sameness, comparable to that of the three strands of a tripartite rope, we could not distinguish--and speak of as distinguished--the three elements.--Hence,
although there is a tripartition, we are enabled 'on account of distinctive nature' to give special designations to the three elements, viz. fire, water, and earth and their products.--The repetition (of 'designation of them') indicates the termination of the adhyâya.