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If I want to express that someone is without money and also without a job, how do I phrase it correctly?

  • He's without money and job.
  • He's without money or job.

Please explain your reasoning.

=== Some idiot edited my original question and completely changed the purpose of it! The edited version seen above is NOT what I was asking. I didn't ask about phrasing!!! MORONS!

user763554 UNDERSTOOD my question.

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He has no money and no job. He has neither money nor a job. He has no money or job. Any of those will work. – J.R. Jul 4 '13 at 23:57
The edit seems entirely reasonable to me. If you feel the edit somehow changed the meaning of the question, please edit the question to make it more clear what you are asking, rather than berating the editor or others on this site. – p.s.w.g Jul 5 '13 at 21:42
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This is a very interesting question.

If one applies basic mathematical logic, the sentence can be factored like this:

he is without (money and job). Then it seems AND is the correct connector.

Another 'proof' that AND is correct: suppose the OP wants to say "He is with fame and with fortune" (ignore the quality of the prose. I just want to illustrate the logic.) You must say "He is with fame AND fortune" to be equivalent. "He is with fame OR fortune" clearly doesn't convey the original meaning.

I therefore vote for AND.

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I agree completely with the answer from user763554 and in part with the answer from activepassive.

I agree that, in the examples given by activepassive, "or" would normally be used, but I think it's an over-simplification to say "We would nearly always use ... 'or' when the sentence is negative."

In activepassive's examples, the verb is negative ("don't", "won't", shouldn't"), but in the OP's question, the verb is positive ("He is"). So here I agree with user763554:

He is without money and (without) job.

But the more elegant option (as J.R. suggested) is:

He has neither money nor job.

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He's without money OR job.

We would nearly always use the conjunction or when the sentence is negative.

I don't have any friends or family.

I won't give you a hotdog or a pencil.

I shouldn't be happy or sad.

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"or" is not a contraction. – hunter2 Jul 5 '13 at 4:33
You are absolutely right. – activepassive Jul 6 '13 at 2:24

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