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Can I use either whenever I want to use an and?

For example,

  • I like to play and sing
  • I like to play & sing

  • We will walk and she will run.
  • We will walk & she will run.
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  • I have wondered about the same thing I know they use & for posters signs or stuff like that while and is used for sentences and writing
    – user172580
    Apr 28, 2016 at 5:54

2 Answers 2

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The choice as to which to use comes down to the degree of formality of your text, and possibly also how much space you have available (e.g. when putting together a PowerPoint slide).

In general, using & implies a much more informal tone than and.

You will never be criticized for using and, whereas you run the risk of disapproval if you use & in anything but informal notes, tweets and the like.

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  • 1
    "&" is also often used in company names or titles, i.e. Barnes & Noble. In that case it's most likely an aesthetic choice more than anything (plus it shortens a name that is already likely to be long). Oct 9, 2014 at 17:36
  • @txteclipse - Quite right. Good point.
    – Erik Kowal
    Oct 9, 2014 at 19:07
  • Conversely, they have different formal meanings in specific contexts. For example two screenwriters who worked as a team would be credited as "A & B", while a film that had two screenwriters who didn't work as a team would be listed as "A and B". Thus also possible to have "A & B and C" in the credits.
    – Erics
    Jan 10, 2018 at 6:17
  • This is not about degree of formality at all.
    – Lambie
    Jun 12, 2022 at 16:23
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Ampersand (&) is rare in formal written English, although in informal e-mails, texts etc. it's usually noticed.

Reference : When Can You Use It?

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