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    #1

    brothers and/or sisters

    We should not fight and quarrel with our brothers and sisters. We should take care of our younger brothers or sisters.

    I read the above sentences on a book. In sentence 1, the author uses "and". However, in sentence 2 the author uses "or". Could anybody tell me why, please?

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: brothers and/or sisters

    There are two possible explanations (apart from sheer carelessness):

    • 'Elegant variation' (it's not elegant to confuse readers, but some people try to avoid repeating words - this can go wrong, which it has done here)
    • The writer's really thinking of two things:
      • In general, we shouldn't fight with our brothers and sisters
      • any particular person will have one or other or neither or both (so sometimes 'and' would be wrong for an individual)


    b

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: brothers and/or sisters

    BobK's explanation is quite clear. Bear in mind, when you are writing, that this problem can be avoided by saying "our siblings" instead. That covers brothers and sisters.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: brothers and/or sisters

    Useless quote removed: BK
    Does it mean that 'and' and 'or' are interchangeable in the above context?
    Last edited by BobK; 30-Oct-2014 at 17:08. Reason: cut quote - BK

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: brothers and/or sisters

    No it doesn't mean that; that's nothing like what I said. But I did say something, and if you didn't understand any part of it you need to say which part. Just quoting the whole thing doesn't add anything, and wastes the forum's resources.

    b

  4. lotus888's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: brothers and/or sisters

    We fight with our brothers and sisters. We take care of them each one at a time.



    --lotus

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