Just a little confused as to the usage of も,し and や in this sentence


I am guessing all three are being used in the sense of "And" (roughly translating the sentence too "They understood the concept of zero, they could perform basic trigonometry, and they were fully proficient in the field of metallurgy.") But I'm just wondering what the exact reason is for switching between the three different forms of "and". Is it merely an artistic choice? or is there some other element I'm missing out on?

  • Which も do you think means 'and'? Perhaps giving a more rigid translation of the sentence would help. Jan 6, 2022 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


も is "also", "too", or sometimes "even", but not "and". I wonder how you can use "and" to rephrase the following:

There is a zero also in their numeral system.

し and や are indeed roughly "and". English speakers use "and" everywhere to join almost anything (noun-noun, verb-verb, adjective-adjective, sentence-sentence), but Japanese is not like that. In Japanese, you have to use different constructions depending on what you are joining. や is used to join two nouns (e.g., apples and oranges), whereas し is used to join two similar sentences (e.g., I like coffee and I like tea).


There is a zero 🟠also in their numeral system, 🟢and there is 🟡even/also trigonometry 🟣and metallurgy (in their civilization).

None of them are interchangeable with the others.

や is not the only particle that can join two nouns. See: Differences between listing particles と, や and に

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .