I was taught in my childhood that an ampersand is not supposed to be used in a formal context and it is best suitable between abbreviations.

Do experts agree with this?

Looking forward to getting a reply soon.


Formal writing like legal documents, newspapers, research papers for publication, have their own style guides that define proper typesetting conventions. But, they are different.

For example the AP Style Guide follows the usage outlined in your question. But the APA Style Guide uses the ampersand as part of citing a reference in the body of the text

And the screen writers guild has a different usage.

Follow the style guide for your market. And, if you are talking about e-mail or professional correspondence, then pick a style guide and be consistent, since there is obviously no fixed rule outside publication standards.


In general, ampersand should not be used as an abbreviation of "and" in most published writing. The exceptions are exact quotations and names, such as company names and titles that use an ampersand. In some cases (if allowed by the publication style guide), ampersands are used in headlines that are constrained by space, but most newspapers use a comma as a replacement for "and" ("Smith, Jones battle in court"). An ampersand could also be acceptable in some tabular material such as timetables, box scores, and similar condensed formats. As a copy editor, I would never allow one in regular sentences, such as "The Fed sets federal bank interest rates & monetary policy."

  • Indeed, just the fact that the & symbol is pronounced "and" does not mean that 1 should it 4 that – Hagen von Eitzen Feb 4 at 6:58

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