And-Or Usage | Exclusion or Inclusion of Listed Items

During a debate the other night in the NM legislature there was a question as to whether the list in the paragraph pictured was exclusionary or inclusionary due to the use of “or” followed by an “and” followed by another “or.” It’s my current understanding that because of the contextual use of the words “relate … Read more

Negators in sentences that switch the meaning of “and” and “or”

In a sense, this is a follow up to the question Use of “and” and “or” in lists when intent is to disallow all items. An answer states “Or has the meaning of and when it is inside a negated sentence.”, but can a sentence be negated in other ways than using “not”? Are some … Read more

Oxford comma before “or”?

Is the Oxford comma restricted to the use of “and”? Or can/should it be also applied in sentences with “or”? I would choose physics, mathematics or biology. I would choose physics, mathematics, or biology. Answer The comments so far haven’t answered your question. There’s quite an extensive explanation of the ins and outs of the … Read more

Should I use a comma before “and” or “or”?

Is using a comma then an “and” or an “or” after it proper punctuation? Example: I fell over, and hurt my knee. Should I go, or not? Answer Whether it is correct to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (“and”, “but”, “or”, “nor”, “for”, “yet”, “so”) depends on the situation. There are three primary … Read more

When should we use “and” and/or “and/or”?

What’s the difference between “and” and “and/or”? How do we decide whether to use one or the other? Note: Also it would be great if someone could explain how do we actually pronounce “and/or” verbally in a sentence… Answer Breaking this down: and/or is as official as English gets in the sense that you can … Read more

Alternatives to “and/or”?

As a programmer, I have no problem with seeing or using “and/or” in technical documentation. For example, I can upvote an answer that satisfies me and/or mark it as accepted. That’s perfectly good English to me. However, if I were writing a novel, or even just an essay, or — heaven forbid — a poem, … Read more