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  1. Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2010
    • Posts: 241

    etc. (after a list?)

    This is about "etc." Dictionaries say that "etc." is used after a list to show that there are other things that you could have mentioned.
    How many words are required to form a list before "etc."? At least two? Three? I mean,

    1. The children can take part in music, dance, paintings, etc.
    2. The children can take part in music, dance, etc.
    3. The children can take part in music, etc.

    I understand 1 is correct, but how about 2 and 3?
    I sometimes see sentences like 2 or 3 written by native speakers. Maybe what the dictionaries say is old-fashioned?

  2. probus's Avatar
    Key Member
    Retired English Teacher
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      • Canada
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    • Join Date: Jan 2011
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    Re: etc. (after a list?)

    2 is okay in my opinion. In the case of a single item "list" as in 3, it depends on how obvious it is from the context what other items belong in the list. If the context makes that obvious, 3 is okay and that is why you see such constructions by native speakers.
    Last edited by probus; 16-Mar-2013 at 19:06.

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