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    • Join Date: Sep 2006
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    #1

    Lots of 'ands'

    If there were no children, the world and our lives both would be colourless (and ) meaningless and soulless.


    Does it sound good to put the parenthesized 'and' in the sentence above?

    Once my English teacher told me when there is a long list of words, we don't write 'and' after each and every word in the list. It seems odd. 'And' functions as a wooden plank over a brook, which helps one to cross the brook without any jerk. If there are more than two entities in a list, we put a comma (,) after each entity, but the one before the last one, since it is followed by 'and'.
    For example, The lady in black looks very gorgeous, stunning, fascinating, elegant and attractive.

    But I have often noticed 'and' written more than once. Could someone also tell me what connotations does a list, having more than one 'and', have?


    Thanks in anticipation.

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      • Native Language:
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    #2

    Re: Lots of 'ands'

    Quote Originally Posted by asad hussain View Post
    If there were no children, the world and our lives both would be colourless (and ) meaningless and soulless.


    Does it sound good to put the parenthesized 'and' in the sentence above?

    Once my English teacher told me when there is a long list of words, we don't write 'and' after each and every word in the list. It seems odd. 'And' functions as a wooden plank over a brook, which helps one to cross the brook without any jerk. If there are more than two entities in a list, we put a comma (,) after each entity, but the one before the last one, since it is followed by 'and'.
    For example, The lady in black looks very gorgeous, stunning, fascinating, elegant and attractive.

    But I have often noticed 'and' written more than once. Could someone also tell me what connotations does a list, having more than one 'and', have?


    Thanks in anticipation.
    What your English teacher told you is right. English has a rule (probably cannot be found in grammar books) that you put an AND between two words that are at the same rank, for example, "My friend and his brother", "drink and eat", and "she and I". But if you have three words, you put the AND before the last word, for example, "books, pens and computers". What if you have 4 words, the same rule, for example, "a, b, ,c, and d" and the rule goes on. You said sometimes you see two ANDs are used in the similar situation. I think there could be two reasons for that:
    1. Sometimes, the three (or more) words are not at the same rank, for example, John and Steve, and all the other major players, in which John and Steve are tied together as a unit, as these two people have been discussed in a text together and "other major players" does not enjoy that sort of closeness, hence not at the same rank. 2. You also want to know that this so called "rule" is followed in a standard, or formal writing. In oral English or in literary texts, this rule doesn't have to be followed. One important thing to remember is that foreign language learners may have problems with the rule, as in many languages, this rules doesn't exist, so they always forget to follow this rule. Besides, we also have to remember that , though this is not a rule for many languages, the tendency is, because of the globalization, English has been influencing the whole world, which means even in those languages where the rule traditionally never existed, people are starting to follow this rule subconsciously. Hope this helps.


    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 433
    #3

    Re: Lots of 'ands'

    Dear Ian2,

    Many many thanks for taking some of your very presious time out for me, and giving me such a brilliant explanation. Now I can say that the problem has been nailed.

    May the blessings of God always shower upon you.

    Asad

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 431
    #4

    Re: Lots of 'ands'

    You are welcome.

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