comma with two nouns

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cloud923

New Member
Japanese
I want to visit countries like Japan, China etc.

I made up this sentence myself and I wonder if the punctuation is right.
I think I should put and between the two countries, but not sure of it.
Please help me with this.
Thanks for your help. :)
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There’s no good reason to use etc. in that statement. If you say “countries like Japan and China”, it will naturally be taken to mean those two “and/or other, similar, countries”.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    First of all, I am one of those who is against using the abbreviation 'etc' at all, but especially in a sample sentence like yours. It adds nothing to the sentence and complicates discussing it. Just say ' ... countries like China and Japan' if you can't be bothered to mention any others.
    If you do mention others, separate them by a comma but use 'and' between the last and second last.
    "Most of all I'd like to visit the countries of the far east: China, Japan, Vietnam and Myanmar."
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    But if you insist on using 'etc', despite the advice above, you don't need 'and', which is supplied by 'et' : 'etc.'='et cetera'='and the others', so your punctuation is correct.
     

    cloud923

    New Member
    Japanese
    First of all, I am one of those who is against using the abbreviation 'etc' at all, but especially in a sample sentence like yours. It adds nothing to the sentence and complicates discussing it. Just say ' ... countries like China and Japan' if you can't be bothered to mention any others.
    If you do mention others, separate them by a comma but use 'and' between the last and second last.
    "Most of all I'd like to visit the countries of the far east: China, Japan, Vietnam and Myanmar."
    Thanks for your reply.
    One more question is can I say "I want to visit countries such as Japan, China, etc"?
    I want to know if I can say "such as" with etc.
    Thanks.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I strongly advise against using 'etc' anywhere, ever, and your question has been answered already. 'Etc' means 'and others' in Latin, so you would be writing 'and and others', showing ignorance.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I'm not so strongly opposed to "etc." as Hermione. It can be useful to avoid repeating a long list that has already been given, or in cutting short a long list that is already known.

    However, it is redundant in your sentence, for the reason given in posts 2, 3, 4 etc.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I think I should put and between the two countries, but not sure of it.
    If we take another example:

    "Get everything ready to make the cake. Oh, and make sure that there is enough flour, sugar, etc., to make another if we have time," :tick:

    The comma between the nouns is a "list comma". It is the equivalent of a conjunction. (By convention, "etc." is followed by a comma.)
     
    Last edited:

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    You should never use "etc." (or similar expressions, like "and so on") in lists of examples, because examples should be specific, and "etc." is non-specific. Even if you don't say "for example" or "e.g.", terms such as "like" and "such as" implicitly introduce one or more examples. That's why you should not use "etc." in conjunction with "like" or "such as".

    But I have nothing against "etc." per se.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I'm with Keith's #7
    "Etc." can be used to mean "and all those other things in that category that you are aware of that are necessary." This use is particularly common when speaking to someone (an adult or responsible child) about a set of articles "We'll be walking across the moors. You've got the map, compass, etc?" Where "etc" = "and all other things associated with navigation."
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I agree that etc can't go with examples. You are naming examples so your listener will understand what you're talking about. Saying "etc" doesn't provide them with any extra information that will help them.

    I have visited many countries where rice is a staple food - for example, China.:thumbsup:

    I have visited many countries where rice is a staple food - for example, China, etc.:thumbsdown:

    I have visited many countries where rice is a staple food - for example, etc.:thumbsdown:

    As a listener, you are expecting to hear the names of countries.
     
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