And is used to join two or more grammatically similar expressions.
- bread and butter
- black and white
- knife and fork
When two clauses are joined by and, there are many possible relationships between them – time, cause and effect, contrast, condition etc.
- Peter took out his pen and began to make notes. (time)
- Do that again and I will hit you. (condition: = If you do that again —)
- She won the prize and astonished them all. (cause and effect)
Adjectives before a noun
We do not usually use and between adjectives used before a noun.
- She has lovely long fingers. (NOT She has lovely and long fingers.)
However, and is used when the adjectives refer to different parts of the same thing.
green and white socks
And after try, be sure etc.
We often use try and/be sure and — instead of try to/be sure to — This is informal.
- I try and visit her often. (= I try to visit—)
- Be sure and ask him about his new projects. (= Be sure to ask him about —)
Note that we only use this structure with the simple base forms try/be sure. It is not possible with tries, tried, trying or am/is/are/was/were sure.
- Try and eat something.
- I tried to eat something. (NOT I tried and ate something.)