Is it incorrect to use "and so" to link an antecedent and a consequent, when "so" alone would do it?

Note: there is an existing question with a similar title (Use of “ and so”) in the EL&U database, but it doesn't address the same issue. That question is about repeating some words from the antecedent. I'm asking about the appropriateness of "and so" itself.

The fact that it is fine to say "...and so do I," is because 'so' is used as an adverb. Or "...and so it goes." Both of these are 'so' meaning 'this way'. "I found a dollar, and so I picked it up," is using 'so' as a conjunction. It's the usage in this last example that I'm asking about.

I was late, and I got fired.
I was late, so I got fired.
I was late, and so I got fired.

I feel in my deepest soul of souls, or at least I kind of suspect, that this use of "and so" is technically incorrect, despite being incredibly common and almost no one having specifically asked this question until now. There are other questions regarding "and so," but not questioning whether this combination is itself proper. Did this come from spoken English, when someone says "and" to continue a story before realizing that "so" is more descriptive?

I can't think of another case of two coordinating conjunctions next to each other. Subordinating and coordinating, yes:
"I was late, and, because the boss saw me, I got fired." or even:
"I was late, and, so it wouldn't happen again, I got fired."
But these are different than my question.

A happened, and so B happened. Too many conjunctions!

Edit: This is not the same question as the suggested duplicate "Use of 'and so'", which I obviously saw before posting this, as I mentioned that I searched for duplicates before asking. That question was to a particular aspect of how to use "and so". I am asking if and why and how "and so" is justified at all. The other person did not ask whether "and so" is correct in itself.

The question marked as duplicate is, word for word:
If "and so" connects predicates such that the second is the result of the first, do we need to repeat the same words in the second?

My question is: Is it not in fact incorrect to use "and so"?

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    "So" is an adverb, but it doesn't mean "thus" or "hence". Or maybe it could... if we decided it did... Mar 28, 2018 at 23:23
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    Pitarou's answer here has a link to an article by Brett Reynolds exploding 'the myth of FANBOYS'. 'So' is not a prototypical member. / Are you suggesting that 'and yet' is unacceptable? This Pain in the English article seems to come down against the proscribing of 'and so'. Mar 28, 2018 at 23:36
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    Yes, I am also suggesting that "and yet" is a mistake, originating from people who don't think about what they say. None of the Pain in the English commentators considered that 'so' is both conjunction and adverb. The fact that it is fine to say "...and so do I," is because it is used as an adverb. Or "...and so it goes." Both of these are 'so' meaning 'this way'. "I found a dollar, and so I picked it up," is using 'so' as a conjunction. I have noticed that 'so' is the black sheep of FANBOYS. It is still a conjunction. Mar 29, 2018 at 19:47
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    @bof Among other things, "...they shone not on the poet's page..." is definitely not acceptable in current usage; "They did not shine on the poet's page," would be the modern equivalent. These examples don't quite convince me. Also, the last one, "...and so entitled to redeem," can be considered to use 'so' to mean 'in this way'. Apr 8, 2018 at 23:23
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    I've edited your question to highlight what I gathered was its central premise. I've also edited so that in the event the closed-as-duplicate notice is lifted, your question doesn't point to a notice that's no longer there. I think your dollar comment above is more pertinent to your question and promoted it to a place in your question, though the late-fired example now seems out of place (the two parts could be considered to be causally related). Consider changing the late-fired example to use that dollar example instead. Feel free to edit further or to roll back the changes.
    – Lawrence
    Apr 9, 2018 at 1:35

1 Answer 1


The and is necessary because you are making two statements.

The so in this case, as in many, serves as thence or therefore.

So no, it is not invalid.

It is possible in some cases to read and so as and in this manner rather than and consequently, and so it might warrant rephrasing to avoid a (very slightly) potential ambiguity.


I think some of this is very much about context.

If I say A happened, and B happened, in the same sentence, I’m directly reporting both events. It’s implied strongly that B is subsequent to A, and in the example sentence(s), since we are talking about a short event (rather than a drawn-out thing like the Hundred Years’ War) it’s expected that the second thing mentioned follows fairly soon on the heels of the first; otherwise I’d expect a new sentence, and one or more words along the lines of later (or much, or many years later).

Again, in the example sentence(s), the so is functioning very much as an adverb, (and) so in my opinion the conjunction is needed as well since A happened and B happened are a list.

I’ll accept, indeed stress, that this is more about style than legal[istic] grammar, but if you leave out the and, you’re no longer reporting a list of events, but talking in an abstract fashion about the consequences of lateness…

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    Are you saying, "I was late, so I got fired," would be incorrect?? The and is necessary? Oxford says this "so" without "and" is OK: "It was still painful so I went to see a specialist." I see what you are saying, but I don't quite see how the "and" is necessary. They have no examples using "and so" this way. For the definition "In the way described or demonstrated; thus," they have the examples: ‘hold your arms so’ and ‘so it was that he was still a bachelor’. The definition "therefore" is listed as a conjunction. en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/so I will edit! Apr 9, 2018 at 14:57
  • Your latter example is one of the few times it's ok to begin a sentence with a conjunction :) Apr 9, 2018 at 15:03
  • Sorry, was on the phone, so you got a shot from the hip. Er, I think what I'm really suggesting is that in the context of “…, and so …” the so is actually functioning as an adverb qualifying the following clause as a consequence (as opposed to and subsequently). Apr 9, 2018 at 15:06
  • Purely as a matter of opinion, if you don't include the and I think you should place a semicolon. Apr 9, 2018 at 15:07
  • @Chuckk goes without saying, I'm sure, but you're free to not¹ accept the answer if you disagree :o) ¹Should I open a separate question on where the not should go? Apr 9, 2018 at 15:24

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