Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

what's the difference between とか and や?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

Abridged from Routledge's "Japanese: a comprehensive grammar":

  • とか and や both list representative items, so are usually best translated with "and (among others)" or "or".
  • とか is a combination of と (quotation particle) and か (question particle). As such, it can quote: "生意気だとか態度が悪いとか言われ、傷ついた。" (Read: "「生意気だ」とか「態度が悪い」とか...")
  • とか can be used more than once in a sentence; や must be used no more than once. But や can be used together with punctuation to list more than two items: "歯形や指輪、持ち物など".
  • Both can be used with など, and often are: "A とか・や B など".
  • とか can also be used to mean など, in phrases of the form "A とか" or "A とか B とか": "日本の新聞とか読むの?". It can have particles attached when it does this: "アメ横(a place)とかで売っている".
share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.