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Boolean Searching

The AND operator narrows your search. Ordering "a burger and fries" gets you both, so using AND between keywords returns results with both or all of your keywords.

The OR operator expands your search. Ordering "a Pepsi(TM) or a Coke(TM)" gets you a brown soda with cola flavoring, so using  OR returns results with either of your keywords.

The NOT operator excludes something from your search. Ordering a beer but NOT wine will get you a beer. So use NOT to exclude words you don't want to find. For example, you want to search for articles about football but NOT college football.

Example Searches:

Search statements include keywords and the logical, or Boolean operators that connect them. To create a search statement, combine your keywords with AND, OR, and sometimes with NOT to strategically look for your information.

  • ("Hot dog" OR Hamburger) AND Fries AND Cola
  • Cheese AND Tomato NOT Onions


  1. Google recognizes a space as AND. For example, hot dog is searched as hot AND dog.
  2. Use the OR between synonyms or closely-related words (and isolate these words in parentheses or in a separate search box).
  3. Use NOT to declutter your results if you need to exclude something. In Google use a dash before the term you wish to exclude: jaguars -cars.
  4. Put phrase you want to search in quotation marks, e.g. "hot dog."