# Using “and” twice for four items

What is the best way to say that a book treats single variable differential calculus, single variable integral calculus, multivariable differential calculus and multivariable integral calculus? I can think of

This book treats single and multivariable differential and integral calculus

but is this clear and unambiguous?

• This book treats differential and integral calculus both on a single and multivariable basis. – user66974 Aug 6 '14 at 4:38
• It is grammatical and makes sense. It not ambiguous. However, if we like to improve readability/ clarity, it may rephrased appropriately. (Rephrasing/ proof-reading/ writing advice -- off topic on ELU.) – Kris Aug 6 '14 at 5:01

While your construction This book treats single and multivariable differential and integral calculus needs to be read a couple of times to get the meaning, I think that is because of the topic, not the construction. It is a concise manner of expressing the idea.

• 'This recipe calls for tomato and grape juice and skins' is certainly ambiguous. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 6 '14 at 8:52

You're addressing a bit of a technical audience who may well understand your sentence as written, but it is ambiguous. Sometimes there isn't a great way to succinctly express a combinatoric set of things like this. Sometimes you can reword it in a domain-specific way as @Josh61 does in the comment. Sometimes for full clarity you just need to say it the long way, like you did in the question:

The book discusses single-variable differential calculus, single-variable integral calculus, multivariable differential calculus and multivariable integral calculus.

I agree with @Kris that it is gramatically correct and unambiguous, but doesn't read very well. How's about using a comma and the word `both` in the right place?

This book treats differential and integral calculus, both single- and multivariable.

You could even omit `both` without losing meaning, and lose only a bit of readability.