A day is the exact length of time it takes the earth to turn around one time.
A year is the length of time the earth takes to travel around the sun one time.
The Egyptians did not think about these scientific facts.
For them, 12 of their 30-day months made a year, but 360 days do not make a full year.

What did they do about these problems? They made a five-day holiday at the end of each year.
But even adding five holidays did not make the Egyptians' yearly calendar right.
It takes the earth a little more than 365 days to travel around the sun.
To be exact, it takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds.
For a long time people did not add these extra hours and minutes and seconds.

Explain it to me why "and" is used between "hours and minutes" instead of comma.

  • 4
    I'm not sure about the source of your sentence, but it's just a matter of style. For example, "We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other." — Ernest Hemingway. Jun 22, 2016 at 17:24
  • I took the liberty of adding a lot of the preceding context from the source (a "reading practice" exercise in a textbook). Given the preceding line, the polysyndeton seems to me a very good choice, but I haven't been able to put my finger on the reason.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Jul 1, 2016 at 6:19

1 Answer 1


It's mainly stylistic

hours and minutes and seconds
hours, minutes, and seconds

are equivalent.

In any positive list of items it is possible to add "and" between each item

I like apples and oranges and pears and bananas.
I like apples, oranges, pears, and bananas.

however, the extra "and"s are usually excluded for brevity.

In a list of negative items, "nor" must be included

I neither like apples nor oranges nor pears nor bananas.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .