Old English and, ond, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch en and German und
1 It is still widely taught and believed that conjunctions such as and (and also but and because) should not be used to start a sentence, the argument being that a sentence starting with and expresses an incomplete thought and is therefore incorrect. Writers down the centuries have readily ignored this advice, however, using and to start a sentence, typically for rhetorical effect, as in the following example: What are the government’s chances of winning in court? And what are the consequences? 2 A small number of verbs, notably try, come, and go can be followed by and with another verb, as in sentences like we’re going to try and explain it to them or why don’t you come and see the film? The structures in these verbs correspond to the use of the infinitive to, as in we’re going to try to explain it to them or why don’t you come to see the film? Since these structures are grammatically odd—for example, the use is normally only idiomatic with the infinitive of the verb and not with other forms (i.e. it is not possible to say I tried and explained it to them)—they are regarded as wrong by some traditionalists. However, these uses are extremely common and can certainly be regarded as part of standard English.3 For information about whether it is more correct to say both the boys and the girls or both the boys and girls, see both (usage)4 Where items in a list are separated by and, the following verb needs to be in the plural: see or1 (usage).