Have you ever heard someone say “and also”? This phrase will be familiar to anyone who has attended a Catholic church. They use the refrain “and also with you” during their services. Is it grammatically correct? Don’t those words mean the same thing?
While “and also” is verbose, the two words do have slightly different meanings:
And is a conjunction. Conjunctions join clauses, words, and phrases.
Also is an adverb. It means “in addition, as well, in the same manner.” It is often used when you want to contrast two items.
Compare these two sentences:
This new safety measure is needed to stop thieves and save money.
This new safety measure is needed to stop thieves and also save money.
Fixing this will improve safety and attract new buyers.
Fixing this will improve safety and also attract new buyers.
In the first two sentences, the two ideas–stopping thieves and saving money–are very closely related, so and is sufficient.
In the second two sentences, the connection between the two ideas–improving safety and attracting new buyers–isn’t quite as obvious, so also is a helpful addition.
So, why does the Catholic church say “and also with you”? Well, that line was recently changed. People criticized how that line was translated from the original Latin. It is now more accurately translated as “and with your spirit.”
You may also hear the two words used together by people who think the extra word will emphasize what they are trying to say. So, even though the phrase is redundant, it does have a place in the English language.
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