In English, when we have three or more items, only the last "and" is kept, and the rest are omitted.

I like fish, curry, sausage, and honey.

What is the standard way to list multiple items in Japanese?

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    「趣味はスキー(と)、ゴルフ、日本語の勉強、カラオケです」とは違い、「趣味はスキーやゴルフ、日本語の勉強、カラオケなどです」というと趣味はその4つ以外にももっとありそうな感じがしますし、「アメリカやイギリス、フランスなどの7つの…」というとその3つの国だけでなく他にも言及されていない4か国があるんですよね(「アメリカ(と)、イギリス、フランスの7か国」は変ですね)。英語では、I like fish, curry, sausage, and honey は「魚(と)、カレー、ソーセージ、はちみつ」のちょうど4つ、という意味ですか?それとも、その4つ以外にもありそうですか?「魚やカレー、ソーセージ、はちみつなど(その他にもある)」ときには、英語ではどう言えばいいですか?
    – chocolate
    May 18, 2016 at 9:45
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    @chocolate I believe lists in English are generally interpreted to be exhaustive unless stated otherwise. If you wanted to imply there are other items being left out, I might say "The foods I like include (but are not restricted to) fish, curry, sausage, and honey", "I like foods like fish, curry, sausage, and honey", or "Some foods I like are ..."
    – seafood258
    May 19, 2016 at 15:48
  • なるほど、教えてくれてありがとうございます!<m(__)m>
    – chocolate
    May 20, 2016 at 6:45
  • @chocolate No problem. Always glad to be of help. :)
    – seafood258
    May 22, 2016 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


As stated in this other answer,


When making longer lists of things, Japanese typically works, unsurprisingly perhaps, in the reverse of English, with further conjunctions omitted.

Notice that "や" is only attached to the first element, and omitted afterwards.

You can see another example of this in this article:


  • 1
    I think often this first や is omitted and replaced by a comma, do you agree?
    – Locksleyu
    May 17, 2016 at 11:57
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    Really? I can't seem to recall, but after trying to dig up some examples, most seemed to follow this pattern. I'll admit that I don't have much confidence though, and I was hoping someone could clear things up. This was admittedly more a question than a Q&A. :P
    – seafood258
    May 18, 2016 at 1:44

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