et alii et al. et al.'s?

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by bazil, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. bazil New Member

    Hi all
    Can someone please help with the correct way to write the possessive form of et alii (abbreviated et al.)? Many academic journals use the form "et al.'s", for example "Smith et al.'s (1998) assertion was incorrect....". I have not been able to confirm if this is the correct form or not. Cheers.
  2. Alvalord Senior Member

    Madrid - España
    Español - España
    Hi bazil:
    I can tell you my experience. I have read a lot of scientific journals, and I have never seen the form et al.'s. The way they refer to other papers is: Wallace et al. (2002).

    Hope this help :)
  3. duncandhu Senior Member

    Annapolis, MD, USA
    United Kingdom, English
    Could you not write "The assertion of Smith et al was..."?

  4. pachanga7 Senior Member

    Southeastern U.S.
    U.S. English
    Hi Bazil,

    It looks right to me, and doing a quick Google search I found some examples by the British Medical Journal and other scholarly sites which use the possessive form of et al. just as you have guessed.

  5. PaulTR Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English - Canada
    Google Scholar currently produces over 1.5 million results on a search for "et al.'s", so it looks like it's widely considered okay. I'm not a fan but sometimes it seems better than more formal-looking alternatives.
  6. pachanga7 Senior Member

    Southeastern U.S.
    U.S. English
    I would point out that we are talking about ONLY when the possessive form is desired. "Smith et al.'s assertion...."

    Otherwise for just a simple naming of the study, as Alvalord said, it would be "Wallace et al. (2000)" as usual.
  7. PaulTR Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English - Canada
    For possessives only, indeed. Note though that it should often be "Smith et al.'s (2000) assertion" -- if you're using the reference for the first time in a paragraph, according to APA style, for example.
  8. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    I'm glad to see everyone using the period (dot) after "al"; that's the usual problem with "et al."
    "Et al.'s" is evidently correct, but try to avoid situations where you have to read it out loud.:)
    Welcome, bazil, to the Forums (or is it Fora?).
    As a native-speaker of English with a question about English, normally you would go to the "English Only" forum in this group,
    rather than this Spanish-English one.

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