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I want to know grammatical information of the below sentence.

"acting with or showing care and thought for the future."

It's a meaning of word 'prudent'

I can see two conjunctions 'or' and 'and' but I don't know how these clauses are connected.

Could you explain this?

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3 Answers 3

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It's not a full sentence, and it hasn't been punctuated. These are space saving features of dictionaries.

In a full, punctuated sentence you might write:

If you are being prudent, you are acting with care and thought for the future, or you are showing care and thought for the future.

In the shortened form for the dictionary, it would have been clearer to write

acting with (or showing) care and thought for the future.

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Clearer if punctuated?

Acting with, or showing, care and thought for the future.

The parenthetical commas show where words can be removed or replaced.

Acting with care and thought for the future

-or-

Showing care and thought for the future.

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The long form would be this:

"acting with care and thought for the future or showing care and thought for the future."

I did need to stare at it a bit, though, before I copped on that it didn't mean "acting with or showing care for the future and acting with thought for the future."

The key to the solution is that the expression "acting with thought for the future" sounds a little unnatural.

The fact that we're dealing with something like a dictionary definition helps too. Such 'or' clauses are common in such definitions.

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