A question about the sentence structure of this:

In 1997, black bears broke into more than 600 cars in the park, searching for human food as they tore open the doors of Toyotas and Hondas, smashing minivan windows with their paws.

Could it be that an "and" is missing between the "searching for..." clause and "smashing minivan..." clause?

  • 3
    No. This is asyndeton, a common method of coordination. Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 1:05
  • @StoneyB But would adding "and" have made the sentence more readable?
    – meatie
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 1:10
  • 1
    Not to me it wouldn't. Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 1:19
  • @StoneyB So, I could write "I have a cat a dog" instead of "I have a cat and a dog"?
    – meatie
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 1:29
  • 1
    Did you read what StoneyB provided you with? The link explains it and no, you cannot write 'I've a cat a dog.'
    – Maulik V
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 5:02

1 Answer 1


As StoneyB has mentioned, this is called asyndeton. It is used because placing an "and" between the clauses would slow down the "reading pace" of the sentence. The author wishes to emphasize the ferocity of the bears. You generally will want to avoid using asyndeton unless you have a strong reason.

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