and so on

echozhouren

New Member
chinese
Hi, I'm a Chinese. I have a question about the usage of and so on. Is it appropriate to use and so on in an essay or article? For example, there is a sentence in an essay like "Plants are important to the welfare of people not noly for food, but also for clothing, weapons, tools, dyes, medicines and so on", is it ok to use it here? If not, which other words shall be used?
Thank you.
 
  • Starbuck

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    Hi, I'm a Chinese. I have a question about the usage of and so on. Is it appropriate to use and so on in an essay or article? For example, there is a sentence in an essay like "Plants are important to the welfare of people not noly for food, but also for clothing, weapons, tools, dyes, medicines and so on", is it ok to use it here? If not, which other words shall be used?
    Thank you.
    Hi Echo,

    You may get a number of responses to your question, but in your sentence above, I personally prefer to use "and so forth" instead of "and so on" when I am listing items in a series. Also, and this may again be a personal preference, I avoid using "etc." in formal writing.

    Starbuck :)
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    "Plants are important to the welfare of people not noly only for food, but also for clothing, weapons, tools, dyes, medicines and so on",
    Hi echozhouren, and welcome to the English-only forum!

    This is a question that is a matter of judgment and opinion. Personally, I don't like the use of "and so on" or "etc." or "and so forth" in formal writing. Therefore, I would recommend this structure: Plants are important to the welfare of people not only for food, but also for such things as clothing, weapons, tools, dyes, and medicines."

    If, however, you prefer to end the sentence with one of the structures you give ("and so on" or "etc." or "and so forth"), then I would suggest using "etc." as being the least intrusive.
     

    CLM9999

    Senior Member
    English USA
    Hi, I'm a Chinese. I have a question about the usage of and so on. Is it appropriate to use and so on in an essay or article? For example, there is a sentence in an essay like "Plants are important to the welfare of people not noly for food, but also for clothing, weapons, tools, dyes, medicines and so on", is it ok to use it here? If not, which other words shall be used?
    Thank you.
    In my opinion it is always better to avoid "and so on" or "etc." whenever possible. I always subconsciously think to myself, "Oh, you couldn't think of anything else, eh?"

    I would recommend replacing "and so on" with "and other everyday necessities" or something similar.
     
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