How to use etc. correctly in a sentence

How to use etc. correctly in a sentence?

how to use etc. correctly in a sentence

Et cetera is a short Latin phrase which means “and the rest”. Et means ‘and’, cetera means ‘the rest’. The abbreviation of short phrase et cetera is etc. The use of abbreviation etc. is very common than the full phrase et cetera in both technical and business writing.

Many people are confused how to use etc. correctly in a sentence or how to pronounce etc. correctly. In this lesson you will learn the proper use of etc. in a sentence.

Etc. is always used for ‘so on’ and ‘other things’. If we have lot of thing in mind to tell or write then we use etc. with few words and replace other words by using etc. simply. It shows that there are other items in the sentence belonging to the same class.  

Some basic rules to use etc. in a sentence

Here are some rules to use etc. correctly in a sentence. These rules will help you to use etc. correctly in academic writing, business writing and technical writing. 

Rule 1 (Use period after etc.)

In English writing, all the abbreviations are followed by period (full stop). Etc. is always followed by punctuation mark either in middle of a sentence or at the end of a sentence. If you are using it in middle of the sentence then you will put a period (full stop) and a comma after it (etc.,) to continue sentence and if it is enclosed in parentheses you will put only period (full stop) either in the middle of sentence or at the end of the sentence. If someone is using it at the end of sentence at that time, it will be followed by period (full stop) only.

(a)  I asked Ali to bring cola, juice, mineral water, etc for tonight party. (Wrong sentence)

(b)  I asked Ali to bring cola, juice, mineral water, etc., for tonight party. (Correct Sentence)

(c)  I asked Ali to bring some items from mart (cola, juice, mineral water, etc.,) for tonight party. (Wrong sentence)

(d)  I asked Ali to bring some items from mart (cola, juice, mineral water, etc.) for tonight party. (Correct Sentence)

Rule 2 (Do not use etc. with names of people)

Always keep one thing in your mind while using etc.; do not use it with the name of the people. This is the only exception where we cannot use etc. in a list of names of people.

“Et Alia” is a separate short Latin phrase which means ‘and others’ like ‘Et cetera’ (etc.). You can use “Et alia” (et al.) for the people. “Et al.” is most commonly used in a list of people, particularly in academic writing when referring to the authors of an academic publication.

(a)  I met to Ali, Jam, Lizzy, Jany, Tom, etc. (Wrong sentence)

(b)  I met to Ali, Jam, Lizzy, Jany, and Tom. (Correct sentence)

(c)  Sajid, Jam, Ravi, etc., wrote a report on pollution. (Wrong sentence)

(d)  Sajid, Jam, Ravi, et al., wrote a report on pollution. (Correct sentence)

Rule 3 (Use etc. for one-class items)

Always use it in one-class items; item in the list should be of same kind. When we use etc. in a sentence it means there are other items related to same class mentioned in the sentence. To understand it better look at the examples below with usage.

(a)  Mango, banana, grapes, apricot, motorbikes, electric fans etc., are cheap in Pakistan. (Wrong sentence)

(b)  Mango, banana, grapes, apricot, etc., are cheap in Pakistan. (Correct sentence)

Or

(c)  Mango, banana, grapes, apricot, motorbikes, and electric fans are cheap in Pakistan. (Correct sentence)

Rule 4 (Do not use ‘and’ with etc.)

Do not use word ‘and’ while using etc. in the middle of the sentence or at the end of a sentence. Since the “et” in “et cetera” already means “and,” it would be redundant to use “and” with “etc.”. Never use  “and” when using “etc.” in a sentence.

(a)  I bought oil, salt, sugar and coffee etc., from the market. (Wrong sentence) 

(b) I bought oil, salt, sugar, coffee etc., from the market. (Correct sentence)

Rule 5 (Do not use ‘introductory phrase’ with etc.)

Do not use etc. when introductory word like such as, like are in the beginning of the sentence.

(a)  Bring items such as chocolates, cakes, ice cream, etc., for tonight party. (Wrong sentence)

(b)  Bring items such as chocolates, cakes, and ice cream for tonight party” (Correct sentence)

Or  

(c)  “Bring chocolates, cakes, ice cream, etc., for tonight party.” (Correct sentence)

Rule 6 (Use etc. only once in a sentence)

Avoid using etc. more than once in a sentence. Some people think it’s cute to use “etc.” more than once in a sentence or they want to focus on other items by writing etc. thrice.

(a)  I have to buy shoes, socks, cap, gloves etc., etc., etc., from my salary. (Wrong sentence)

(b)  I have to buy shoes, socks, cap, gloves etc., from my salary. (Correct sentence) 

Rule 7 (Do not use it with specific list)

Do not use etc. if there is a specific list of items that you need. If you only need juice, cake, and cookies for the party: do not use etc. Using etc. in the sentence will make the reader or listener confused that you may need other items like dessert also for the party.

(a)  Please fetch juice, cake, cookies, etc, for the party. (Sentence is wrong if only three items in the list are needed)

(b)  Please fetch juice, cake, and cookies for the party.

Rule 8 (Use of punctuation marks with etc.)

As you have learned that etc. is always followed by period (full stop). What we will do if we have to use other punctuation marks like question mark, colon, or any other punctuation mark. Its answer is simple that you can use any punctuation mark (question marks, exclamation marks, semi-solons or colons) after etc. but after period like comma in the middle of the sentence. When we are using it at the end and sentence ends at period then we will use only one period. Look at the examples below to understand it in a better way.

1.    Is he going to buy plates, cups, napkins, etc? (Wrong sentence)

2.    Is he going to buy plates, cups, napkins, etc.? (Correct sentence)

3.    I hate watching movies, dramas, etc! (Wrong sentence)

4.    I hate watching movies, dramas, etc.! (Correct sentence)

Welcome to your Quiz for etc lesson

etc is always followed by_____.
et cetera is a ___ phrase.
etc. is followed by _____ between the sentence.
Where we can not use etc.?
What we use with peoples name?

How to Improve Spoken English?

Everyone wants to improve spoken English. Improving spoken English has become a significant thing throughout the world for common communication among people of different races, being the second language globally. Spoken English is the use of English language for conversational purposes. Whether it is for a business or a casual meet-up, it is important to have fluency and accuracy while speaking. People deal with different difficulties when they speak English, like stuttering or nervousness. Sometimes they do not have enough vocabulary or phrases to express their thoughts, or even form a simple sentence. Following are a few, very useful and easy ways showing how to improve spoken English.

improve spoken English

Reading this article would enable you to:

     Realize your common mistakes while improving spoken English

     Enhance your vocabulary

     Gain confidence about yourself

     Communicate easily with your society and native speakers

     Understand native speakers much better

     Polish your writing and listening skills as well

     Improve your Grammar

     Better understanding of the parts of speech

     Become fluent while speaking

Confidence and Positivity

The first and foremost thing you need is confidence. If you really want to improve spoken English skills, you will have to set aside your shyness and nervousness. Do not over think about being criticized by others. If you do get criticized, do not take it seriously, because of course you are in the learning. Keep trying until you become able to speak fluently.

Your body language speaks volumes. Keep it straight and confident. Do not use too much hand gestures while speaking or the listener could easily be annoyed. Avoid fidgeting; otherwise, the other would know that you are not comfortable while talking. Keep your body relaxed and your posture friendly. This way, you will be able to overcome the nervousness and shyness that is the main barrier between you and your speaking skills. Be positive and encourage yourself. Do not think that you will mess up or you cannot do it. These things will only make you stutter and more miserable. Be honest and real towards other people and keep trying.

Grammar

Grammar is something that is very essential in order to speak English at all. You can easily sound strange to native speakers if you do not have any knowledge of English grammar.

It is important to structure your words correctly when you are having a formal conversation or a conversation in your social circle. Of course, you can relax in your inner circle like family and extremely close friends who can easily understand you.  Start with simple and basic grammar first. What are the rules? Teach yourself a few concepts and then imply them to improve your spoken English.

If you are going on a trip, you need some basic information but if you were applying for a study visa or going on a business trip, the situation would be different. You will be in need of full command over English grammar and speaking skills. Maybe you know about one thing in grammar but not the other like tenses or perfect continuous sentences. Make notes about what you find difficult and what are the most common rules you see being used in daily life. There are many confusing rules so make a list of them to keep with you as a reminder. Give yourself challenges to learn a new rule every day so you can stay focused and not get overwhelmed by too much information at once.

Some rules are necessary to remember. These cannot be forgotten or else you can mess up while talking. Check out our grammar section to learn more deeply about this subject. You will certainly benefit from it.

https://literaryenglish.com/grammar/

 Vocabulary

Sometimes during a conversation, you do not know how to put your thoughts into words, or how to define what you actually feel or mean. This leads to confusion between people. They are unable to understand what you really want to say. In order to be fluent in spoken English you need to work on your vocabulary efficiently. Learn more words daily and add them to your dictionary. By learning new words, you will be able to form sentences. You will be able to describe certain situations. It will enable you to use the suitable words according to the circumstances.

Read words with their meanings. It will help in remembering the words more accurately. Do not over do it. Learn a small amount of words daily, it will enable you to remember the words while giving you the chance to use that vocabulary in your daily life.

Another very useful Vocabulary Guide will teach you about vocabulary that you need in every day conversation. Hope it will help you to improve spoken English.

  1. Proposal, Dating, and Marriage Vocabulary
  2. Love and Romance Vocabulary
  3. Eating and Drinking Vocabulary
  4. Food and Cooking Vocabulary
  5. Fashion and Clothes Vocabulary
  6. Weather and Climate Vocabulary
  7. Kitchen Utensils Vocabulary With Images

 Describing a person

Suppose you have to describe a person. You will need appropriate vocabulary to do so. This quick article on,

How to Describe a Person in English will assist you greatly. Some of the main articles are here for your help.

  1. Positive personality adjectives
  2. Negative personality adjectives
  3. Skin and complexion vocabulary
  4. Eye shape, size, color, and expressions vocabulary
  5. Facial hair, beard and moustaches vocabulary
  6. Hairstyle, color and  hair texture vocabulary
  7. Build, shape and physique vocabulary

Idioms and Phrases

Make your conversations colourful and interesting using different sayings, idioms and phrases in your spoken language. No doubt, learning new vocabulary is extremely helpful but if you learn whole phrases instead of just words, you will see it is easier to remember and understand them.

Here is a link to 100 most common used idioms in English with simple and easy explanations.

https://literaryenglish.com/commonly-used-idioms/

Here is also a link to 200 most common used short and long phrases in English with explanations.

https://literaryenglish.com/english-phrases/

There are also examples of usage for your easy and quick learning. Go on and start conversing in a lively manner.

Listening and Learning

Listening is the key to learning. Even before speaking or reading, the first change you need to make is about listening. Listening makes you more adaptive and you can learn anything more easily by listening. Just like children learn their first language only by listening and seeing the gestures that follow the words. They observe the way the mouth forms the words and try to imitate the movements. By observing and trying to speak like this, you will have a great accent like a native speaker too. Listening is an essential element to improve spoken English so listen natives as much as you can.

Do not worry if you do not have a native speaker nearby. Listen to different speeches, audios, or podcasts in the English accent that you want to develop. You can also listen to the news. It will not only improve your spoken English, it will help increase your knowledge about different things.

Start Talking

The most important thing that will help you in spoken English is that you start speaking right away in English. Do not worry about how you sound or what other people might think, or that you might speak wrong. Take the first step and start speaking without any hesitation. This way, you will get comfortable hearing your voice in English, will speak more clearly, and will not make mistakes due to shyness, nervousness, or confusion.

Practice by yourself

You can start practicing with yourself first before talking to others if you are hesitant. You can also ask your friends who are good at English to talk to you and point any mistakes out. Recording yourself conversing in English and paying attention to your sentence structure and grammar by listening to it will also help. You can ask your friends to improve you by listening to those recordings too. It will also help you to track your progress. Just make up any possible scenarios and then make conversations according to those situations. It will be fun and very helpful.

Communicate

At the end of the day, you are learning a language for communication, so communicate. Do not hesitate to chatter with people. Talk to your friends and family in English so you can overcome your shyness and stop stuttering. Talk to your pets in English. If the people at the stores you go to speak English, chat with them. Talking to a stranger, if you love in an English speaking country, is actually good when you are trying to improve a language that they speak. Natives mostly do not judge quickly based on a language, they would just like to have a conversation. Just go easy on yourself and enjoy the process.

Speak Normally and Calmly

Either people speak too quickly, which makes them incomprehensible, or extremely slow. Speak moderately so you can be understood and try to pronounce the words more clearly. This way you will be able to listen to yourself speak, will speak clearly, and comfortably. Keep your calm and put the nerves aside. It is all right, you are learning and mistakes are a part of learning process.

Watching Movies

Watching movies is the most effective and easy way to improve your spoken English. Watching with subtitles will enable you to learn new vocabulary as well. It will also help in understanding the sentence structure much better. Watch American or British based movies so it can be easy to adapt a certain accent. It will also provide an opportunity to listen to Native speakers. You will learn the phonics. It will enable you to pronounce every word accurately.  Moreover, you will have the additional benefits of entertainment and will learn their culture too.

Book Reading

No doubt, books are another effective way to improve your spoken English. You get a wide range of words and phrases helping you to structure your sentences right and connect them in your daily routine. You get to understand the meaning of words more clearly in a novel’s context. There are so many scenarios in books and you get to get preparation for effective speaking in a lot of situations. Reading books aloud would be especially helpful.

Quick Tips

These are a few very useful tips in improving your spoken English:

     Think in English, instead of thinking in your native language and then translating that thought into English. This will reduce the time you will need to form a sentence because now you will not be wasting time translating.

     Stand in front of a mirror and speak to yourself. Notice your body language, accent, phonics, grammar and every other possible detail. This way you will be able to pinpoint mistakes on your own.

     Take three to five new words or phrases each day and throughout the day keep repeating those to yourself, and try to incorporate them in your chats.

     There are many apps and games available for taking quizzes and improving your language in a fun way. You might want to consider those.

Conclusion:

Anyone can learn to speak a language at any point in his or her life. There is no age for learning. The approach is to just stay focused and not making a fuss about it. You are learning something new every day. Make it count. Be persistent in your learning and stay calm and gentle with yourself. Do not overwhelm and overburden yourself.  We encourage you in your learning and you should encourage And appreciate yourself too. This link is to other useful materials in you English speaking and learning journey: https://literaryenglish.com/

Hope this article has helped you. Happy Learning