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If you want to say "things like" you can use とか、など、and し。

What if you don't want to list out several things. You want to say, "things like A." Then what do you do?

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2  
Wouldn't one way to be to use the particle "や": AやBやC... that would imply other things as well. –  hippietrail Jul 29 '11 at 10:40
    
Where is "several" in "things like A."? How does it differ from what you wrote on the first line? –  Axioplase Jul 29 '11 at 13:29
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4 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Amongst とか, など, and し, I feel only など satisfies the specific role you're talking about.

There's no rule that says など must be affixed only after 2 or more examples.

E.g. この難しいこと、私などには出来ません。 "A person like me cannot do a difficult thing as this".

The more related examples you string before adding など makes your concept specific, as if you are placing them under a common theme.

The more unrelated your examples, the bigger the scope of your concept becomes, until the point where it feels like all the examples strung together are random and have no common theme.


とか is an inexhaustive listing helper. It is made up from the quoting function of と and the alternative-generating function of か.

It can be used without listing. Since か automatically implies at least one alternative.

Illustrating the implicit alternative resulting from か: 図書館に行きますか。(それとも行きませんか。)


し is an emphatic "and".

E.g. このアパートはきれいだし、安いです。 "This apartment is clean, and what's more, it's cheap."

Listing with し does not do any thematic grouping, so you will not end up with a concept of "things like A, B, C..."

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3  
I think he understands the functions of とか、など and し and was more asking how to say things like "Aみたいな物", "Aのような物”, ”Aと似ているもの”. –  phirru Jul 29 '11 at 10:14
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My intention was to show that it's not absolutely necessary for など and とか to work in a list. But your analysis of his question seems more accurate. –  Flaw Jul 29 '11 at 10:33
    
Ohhh, I see the logic. He could be asking for either, without an example sentence or context I don't think we can tell. –  phirru Jul 29 '11 at 10:47
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I'll throw in another grammatical structure for variety:

〜やら

(essentially the same as 〜とか)

りんごやらみかんやら,果物をたくさん買った → He bought a lot of fruit ─ apples, oranges, and whatnot [so on].
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There are recent colloquial hedge words

  • ~系
  • ~みたいな
  • ~的
  • ~っぽい
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1  
i would just add that っぽい while means "like" has the connotation that it is not what is expected or has a negative connotation. –  Mark Hosang Jul 29 '11 at 14:55
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Flaw has a great answer, but I'll just throw out another grammatical structure that is similar is 「をはじめ」

バナナをはじめ、フルーツは健康にいい

Fruits, like bananas, are good for your health.

It's not the same as など per se, but it is another way but is restricted formal speeches and writing.

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Can also be 〜をはじめとして. –  istrasci Jul 29 '11 at 15:03
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