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Pros and Cons | Meaning, Synonyms, and Examples

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We’ll teach you what the phrase “pros and cons” means, how to use it, and why writing one of these lists can help you when faced with a difficult decision. Plus, we’ll also provide a list of synonyms to expand your vocabulary.

White text over green background reads "What does pros and cons mean"?
 We’ll teach you what the phrase “pros and cons” means and how to use it correctly.
Quick Summary

Pros and cons means “advantages and disadvantages.” This phrase is used when carefully considering the good and bad points of something.

For example, regarding solar energy, the pros are that it produces less pollution and doesn’t contribute to a rise in CO2 in the atmosphere. However, the cons are that it has a high initial cost and is less reliable.

  • After weighing the pros and cons, the community voted to postpone the solar panel project.

What does pros and cons mean?

The pros and cons of something are the arguments for and against it. When you’re considering the pros and cons of something, you’re thinking about its good and bad points. 

The phrase pros and cons came from the Latin words “prō,” which means “for” and indicates favor towards something, and “contrā,” which means against, indicating opposition.

I should make a list of pros and cons before making my final decision. 
My boss told us to weigh the pros and cons before deciding what to do with the project. 
After thinking about the pros and cons, it made more sense for me to retire. 

Pros and cons is typically used as a plural noun; it would be unusual to list the “pro and con” of something. Additionally, the word “of” frequently follows the phrase pros and cons, but it is not always required. 

What is the pro and con of this situation?

What are the pros and cons of this situation?

There are many pros and cons to this situation.

This situation has many pros and cons.

However, the words pro and con can be used independently to refer to a singular advantage or disadvantage. 

One major pro of social media is the ability to keep in touch with friends and family worldwide. 
A significant con of social media is its impact on mental health. 
Image shows “pros and cons” with the “o” in “pro” being a smiley face, and the “o” in “cons” being a frown face.
“Pros and cons” is a phrase that refers to the negatives and positives—or the good and the bad—of something.

Why writing a pros and cons list is helpful 

Writing a pros and cons list is simple. All you have to do is consider the positive and negative outcomes of a particular decision. 

There are many benefits to writing a pros and cons list. First, it forces you to slow down and think things through. Often, when we’re stressed about having to make a choice, we can be impulsive, which can lead to a bad decision. 

Pausing to write a pros and cons list helps organize erratic thoughts. It shifts your perspective from short-sighted to far-sighted, allowing you to envision possibilities.

A pros and cons list can also help you feel more secure in your judgment because you’ll know what to expect, regardless of which decision you make.

Bonus Tip

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Examples of pros and cons




They are lightweight, making them highly convenient. Reading from an e-book screen can cause eye strain.
They offer adjustable font sizes, making them accessible for people with visual impairments. E-books must be charged, or their batteries replaced every so often.
They provide instant access to a vast range of books, magazines, and more. Unlike printed books, e-books cannot be easily lent out.
E-books are typically more affordable than printed books. Although e-books tend to be cheaper, the device itself is costly.
They reduce the use of paper, which means fewer trees are cut down. E-books provide a less tactile experience; one cannot smell or feel the pages.

Online Shopping



Online shopping is more convenient; there is no need to travel to a physical store. Online shopping takes longer, as you have to wait for your items to be shipped to you.
Online shopping provides access to a vast range of products that may not be available locally. The cost of shipping can make an item more expensive.
Online shopping allows one to easily compare prices across several retailers. While shopping online, one cannot inspect or try on products.
Online shopping provides access to customer reviews, helping you buy better products. Online shopping makes returns a hassle, as one has to send an item back and then wait for the refund.
Online shopping offers home delivery, meaning you don’t have to drive to buy things. Online shopping requires online transactions, which are inherently risky.

Synonyms for pros and cons

Here are five phrases you can use as synonyms for pros and cons

1. Advantages and disadvantages

There are many advantages and disadvantages to delaying the start of construction by three months. 

2. Benefits and drawbacks

It was easy for us to decide because we made a list of benefits and drawbacks

3. Strengths and weaknesses

He had many strengths and weaknesses, but we chose to hire him, and it ended up being a great decision. 

4. Positives and negatives

There are positives and negatives to almost every decision we make. 

5. Upsides and downsides

She wanted to know what the upsides and downsides were to starting college a year early. 

While synonymous phrases exist, the term pros and cons is widely understood and accepted. Remember, understanding what pros and cons means and applying it to your decision-making process is an invaluable skill. 

Not only will you be able to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of various situations, but you’ll also be more informed and balanced in your critical thinking. 

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