Rules and Examples
ampersand symbol ( & ) is a symbol that can be used for the
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The ampersand symbol should only be used in very informal writing
unless it is being used in a formal company name.
On the keyboard:
On most keyboards, you can make the ampersand symbol by pressing the
the number 7
on the top number line.
Rules for using the ampersand symbol
1. Use the ampersand symbol in sentences in place of the word "and."
The ampersand symbol should only be used in very
as a friendly letter or email, texts, tweets, memos, rough drafts,
class notes and journal writing.
- Bill & I would like you to come to our house for
- At the zoo we saw lions, zebras, bears & monkeys.
- Combine the ingredients, then stir & pour into a
2. The ampersand symbol is used in some formal company names and
- Barnes & Noble
- Procter & Gamble
- Abercrombie & Fitch
- Marley & Me (movie)
- Turner & Hootch (movie)
3. You can also use the ampersand symbol when addressing letters to a
- Mr. & Mrs. Johnson
- John & Sally Smith
The symbol ( & )
In Latin, "et" stands for "and."
The ampersand symbol ( & ) originally looked like a cursive
"E" and "T" put together for the word "et."
The symbol was at the end of the Latin alphabet and the
27th letter of the English alphabet.
The symbol has changed over time to look more stylish.
There are many different ways to make an ampersand symbol. The symbol
looks slightly different when using different fonts on the computer.
Examples from Microsoft
The word "ampersand"
The word "ampersand" comes from the phrase "and per
And per se and
symbol which by itself is and.
This phrase was used in English-speaking schools
when saying the
Students would say "per se
) before any
letter of the alphabet that could stand for a word by itself. ("A" and
"I" are two modern examples.)
The ampersand sign was at the end of the English and Latin alphabets.
At the end of the alphabet, students would say,
"X, Y, Z and per se
When it is said quickly, it sounds like,
"X, Y, Z ampersand."
"Ampersand" was added to dictionaries in 1837.
These were the uses of the ampersand symbol. Now that you know them, it
time to practice! Read and do