what's the difference between とか and や?
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".