I know this is very simple, but it might be confusing me.

if I say;

  1. It can be done using a search algorithm such as A, B or C.
  2. It can be done using a search algorithm such as A, B and C.

Note: for the simplicity let us assume A,B,C are the names of the algorithms.

Can I use both or and and for that case? Are both grammatically correct?

  • 3
    I'm under the impression that both are grammatical, but the "2" case is semantically incorrect.
    – user114
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 11:09

2 Answers 2


I would advise more on the usage of the first one. Since you are finally going to use only one algorithm for your search (as depicted by "using a search algorithm") you'd be using or in your sentence.

On the other hand, if you are choosing/providing a list, using and will be correct in that situation. For this, the construction should be something like

It can be done using an algorithm among the class of A, B and C.


I think there is a difference between the two sentences. When you use or you mean one of them, but when you use and you mean all of them. It depends on your situation which one of them you need.

  • 1
    The exception would be when you're describing the contents of a list, e.g., "Algorithms that are known to work in this situation are A, B and C."
    – Blrfl
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 13:46

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