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What is the fundamental rule for using 'and' vs. 'or'? I think 'or' sounds best when used in a negative sentence. Ex. I do not have a,b, or c. Can anyone please help?
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mthomas,

1) I do not have a,b, or c.

That means
i) You don't have a.
ii) You don't have b.
iii) You don't have c.

2) I do not have a, b, and c.

That means you do not have all three (a,b, and c) combined.

But you might have
a
or you might have
b
or you might have
c
or you might have
a and b, but not c
or you might have
a and c, but not b
or you might have
b and c, but not a.

Compare and contrast:

Pair #1
Fred: On your farm, do you have cows, horses, or chickens?
Yes, we have cows and horses, but not chickens.

Pair #2
Fred: On your farm, do you have cows, horses, and chickens.
Sue: On our farm, we do not have cows, horses, *** chickens. We have cows and horses, but no chickens.

So it depends on your logic. This can be especially important when writing contracts or writing computer code.

I hope this helps.

MountainHiker
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