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At one level, they both mean "and." At another level, 和 also means "peace," while 及 means "to extend." This suggests different usages.

Is one used to connect nouns, while the other is used to connect predicates, for example? And which one (both, or a third) would take the place of "and" in 和 "and" 及?

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Professional and difficult question. Although I think native speakers know how to properly use them, they are not aware of the complexity of the grammar of 和/及/与/并/而. I find an article on the Google cache. It may be of some help. –  Stan Jun 10 '13 at 2:35
    
@Stan: I am a Chinese-American who "picked up" Chinese (Cantonese) at home, but am not truly bi-lingual. –  Tom Au Jun 10 '13 at 12:24
    
Tom, in Cantonese, I seldom hear of the meaning "and". Cantonese uses 同(埋) or 共(埋) instead. –  Stan Jun 10 '13 at 12:35
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@Stan: Which is why I asked the question. Because I "knew better" (in Mandarin). Thanks for your help. –  Tom Au Jun 10 '13 at 12:36
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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Both “和” and “及” are conjunctions for connecting two words or phrases.

  • 和 [hé] : To connect nouns, verbs or phrases, not necessarily expressing a relationship and often informally. E.g. 汽车和现金 (car and cash), 蓝宝石和翡翠 (sapphire and jade).
  • 及 [jí] : Mostly used in writing to connect nouns, with greater emphasis on the items preceding it. E.g. “囧”字的读音、意思及其常用表现手法

Example of combined usage adapted from Google's policy:

我们的目标是不断超越,为您提供一流的服务易于使用的安全隐私权工具。

Note the order and how “和” is used to join the larger phrases together.

See also: Difference between 与,和 and 跟?


There are a lot characters meaning "and": 和/及/与/而/又/并/同/亦/且/兼/跟"

面包 黄油 bread and butter
一个女人﹑ 两个男人 三个孩子 one woman, two men and three children
《儿子 情人》 Sons and Lovers
缓慢 仔细地 slowly and carefully
能读 能写 able to read and write
他为她感到难过, 试图使她振作起来。 He was sorry for her and tried to cheer her up.
他一起去。You and he go together.
他生 穷来死 穷。He was born poor and died poor.
一个优雅 和蔼的女人 a graceful and gentle woman
他担任教练 队长。He doubled as coach and captain of the team.
他一块儿来。You and he come togther.

It is very hard to give specific rules on how to use them. You need to read a lot Chinese text to build up your language sense on those characters. But one rule seems holding the water all the time: if there are mutliple level things in the same sentence to be joined by "and", then you will need to use different characters.

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If you are joining many things in a list of similar items, will you keep rotating the 'and' words, or can you repeat those? Is this right or wrong: 你跟他跟我一块儿来。? –  juckele Jun 10 '13 at 19:53
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@juckele Generally speaking, it will be better if we can use different characters for multiple "ands" in the same sentence in Chinese. This is quite different from in English, as there are not a lot words to be used to replace "and". So regarding your example, "你跟他跟我一块儿来", it is not bad, but it can be improved though. I would say: 我跟你和他一块儿来, or 我、你、他,我们一块儿来。or 你和我,还有他,我们一块儿来。or 我和你与他一块儿来, etc.。 –  孤影萍踪 Jun 10 '13 at 23:29
    
@juckele Just to point out, the second 跟 (in 跟我一块来) is special when used before an action verb like 来, because it's ambiguous between the verb 'to follow' vs. the conjunction 'succeeding; and', i.e. physical vs. logical. So your sentence can be interpreted as either 'You and he and I, let's go together' or 'You and he, follow me'. –  NS.X. Jun 11 '13 at 21:28
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