Etcetera or Et cetera? Here’s the correct spelling (+10 EXAMPLES)

Latin words are pretty common to this day in the English language. Since most of the language originates from the same Latin language from the Roman Empire all those years ago, it’s no surprise that we still use some of them today. One such word is “etcetera,” and we’ll cover that for you now to learn all about it.

Is The Correct Spelling Etcetera Or Et Cetera?

The correct spelling is “etcetera” if you’re using American English. You spell it “et cetera” in Candian English or other forms of English. The meaning stays the same no matter what spelling you use, and both are technically correct no matter where you are in the world. However, Latin’s original spelling form is with the space between the words (“et cetera”).

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Is “Et Cetera” Used Differently In American English And Canadian English?

As mentioned, there is a difference between using “etcetera” in American English and Canadian English. Depending on which country you are in, you might see it written down in one of those two ways. It’s also worth noting that Canadian English follows the same rules as British English, so British English also uses the alternative spelling “et cetera.” Again, both ways hold the same meaning, so there won’t be confusion if you accidentally spell it a different way.

We’ll cover this more later, but the likelihood that you’ll even see “etcetera” written down is very slim. The reason being is because it’s often abbreviated and left that way, and it’s acceptable to abbreviate even in the most formal of writing styles.

If I Am Not From Either The US Or Canada – Should I Use “Et Cetera” Or “Etcetera”?

There’s one simple thing you can do if you’re not from the US or Canada and still need to write it, and that’s use whatever works best for you. It’s up to you which style of spelling works better for you. If you’re dealing with US people more often, then “etcetera” is better. However, if you have dealings with the rest of the world, then “et cetera” is more useful. Either way, no one will question your spelling (usually).

Most English-speaking countries that aren’t the USA will use British English as their root. This is the same for Canadian English and is why it differs in spelling from the American English version. So, other countries, like Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, all follow the same British English spelling. If you’re from a non-English-speaking country, the most appropriate way to spell it would be the British English way – which is “et cetera.”

What Is The Meaning Of Et Cetera?

The definition of etcetera in sentences or lists means “and some more” or “and so forth.” Either way, it often implies that there is more to the list in question, but there isn’t enough room, time, or need to include any more examples. From Latin, the direct et cetera translation means “and the rest” (“et” meaning “and” and “Cetera” meaning “the rest”).

There isn’t another meaning for the word, and it’s kept its meaning for centuries. We always use it in this way. It’s also common for people to say “etcetera” in speaking for similar reasons. If they don’t want to list any more examples, they’ll say “etcetera,” or they’ll say what it means and say “and so forth” instead.

What Is The Abbreviation Of Et Cetera?

Now we get to the abbreviation of “et cetera.” The most common way you’re going to see it written down is in this form. We abbreviate it to read “etc.” with the period at the end to let people know it is an abbreviated variation. As we mentioned, you can use this abbreviation in all writing styles, from informal writing to the most formal academic papers. Everyone understands that “etc.” is an abbreviation of “etcetera” in writing.

Both variations of spelling from both American English and Canadian English will shorten to “etc.” The Canadian English version doesn’t keep the space when it’s shortened, so “et c.” is incorrect. This is one of the reasons why most people don’t write the full word out, as it’s easier to communicate that it means the same thing when it’s spelt the same way.

Should I Use A Comma Before Et Cetera?

It’s appropriate to use a comma before et cetera because it’s always written at the end of a list. When you’re listing items, you’ll always separate them with commas to ensure people know that they are listed separately. When we write “etcetera” or “etc.” at the end of a list, it still counts as a listed item and needs a comma beforehand to be grammatically correct.

10 Examples Of How To Use Et Cetera

Let’s finish up with some examples that’ll help you better grasp how etcetera is written in a sentence. We’ll cover examples for all three versions. We’ll use the American English, Canadian English, and abbreviated versions in the same way, to help you understand that all three forms mean the same thing. In each example, you’ll notice that a list is being used to write “etcetera” correctly and give it a valid meaning.

  • Some problems associated with obesity include diabetes, hypertension, etcetera.
  • Make sure to eat your fruit, vegetables, nuts, etcetera, to remain healthy.
  • Sharp items like knives, scissors, etcetera are not permissible on this flight.
  • Make sure to study for your exams with flashcards, test questions, etcetera.
  • Always check your child has the necessary pens, pencils, et cetera for school.
  • Please include your name, address, et cetera when filing for this paper.
  • Taking care of dogs includes a lot of playing, grooming, bathing, et cetera, and takes a lot of energy.
  • What do you want for starter, main, etc.?
  • This store sells brochures, pamphlets, magazines, etc..
  • The orchestra plays the drums, flutes, trumpets, etc..
  • At the zoo, you’ll see lions, tigers, bears, etc.

In each of these examples, you’ll notice that a list is always used. It’s also important to note that a comma always comes before every version of etcetera because it’s part of the list.

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