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Just wondering whether the following sentence is grammatically correct — I was always taught that you shouldn't have two ands within the same sentence.

We are not able to come up with a better subject. The subject below is for both New and Used Motorhomes and New and Used Caravans.

Serious Savings on New and Used Motorhomes and Caravans

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marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Jul 5 '13 at 9:51

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3 Answers 3

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As said, you can have any number of ANDs in your sentence. However from a LOGICAL point of view I suggest

"Serious Savings on New or Used Motorhomes and Caravans"

since they cannot be new and used at the same time

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Surely, on that logic, it should also be "Motorhomes or Caravans", since they can't be both a motorhome and a caravan at the same time? On the other hand, the "Savings" are on all of them. From a logical viewpoint, your version leaves the reader wondering whether the savings are on the new vehicles or on the used ones. –  TrevorD Jul 5 '13 at 10:58
    
mplun, so one can think you're just guessing that grammar and logic operate exactly the same way even if from different perspectives? –  user19148 Jul 5 '13 at 11:16
    
I read my sentence as savings on (new or used) (Motorhomes and Caravans) so savings on (new motorhomes or used motorhomes) and (new caravans or used caravans). You can buy both a new and a used one of either type so I think my logic is ok. You read it as (new or used motorhomes) and unspecified caravans, but that is just to be contrary :) –  mplungjan Jul 5 '13 at 15:35

Is the sentence grammatically correct? Yes
Does it look odd and could it detract from your intended message? Yes

In many circumstances, you will choose to avoid an expression that follows all the conventions but is likely to draw attention away the meaning you intend to convey.

If one potential customer believe that there is a "only one and" rule and rejects your message because of that; then your campaign has failed.

The adjustment (not a correction, because what you have is not "wrong") can be as simple as replacing one of the uses of "and" with an ampersand.

Serious Savings on New & Used Motorhomes and Caravans

In the subject line of an email such advertising shorthand will not look out of place. In the body of the message, you could write "new or used caravans and motorhomes", without changing the (real world) meaning.

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My thoughts exactly –  mplungjan Jul 5 '13 at 9:43

There is no reason whatsoever not to have two or three or nineteen "and's" in a sentence if that is what is needed to convey your meaning. Whoever "taught" you that you must not have two was inventing another so-called "rule" that simply doesn't exist. Remember, there are no actual RULES of English. There are many fairly well accepted, but by no means universally accepted, conventions of usage which are nevertheless generally debatable and often changing over time. Sometimes a particular usage goes so strongly against making sense that most speakers of the language will tell you that you just can't do it and still be understood, and therefore it's NOT CORRECT, and so that sounds like a RULE. And that's why it seems like there are rules. But no one's going to arrest you if you use three and's in a sentence.

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John, so it is deeply unhelpful to study the English language on grammar books which are filled of rules? –  user19148 Jul 5 '13 at 11:23
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No, no, a thousand times no. :) It is very helpful. My point is simply this: Don't take so-called "rules" as being "gospel", as they say. There is good consensus on most of what we say and write; if there weren't, we would have chaos. It's just worth remembering that English grammar is not set in stone, and the rules really amount to well-established guidelines, not immutable laws. The language is flexible, and you can use multiple and's in a sentence if you want to, and you can, too, and Jim and Jerry and Jeff can, and so can anyone else. See? –  John M. Landsberg Jul 5 '13 at 14:36

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