6

1) 私は果物、いちごメロンとかが好きです。

2) 私は果物、いちごとかメロンとかが好きです。

3) 私は果物、いちごメロンが好きです

4) 私は果物、いちごとかメロンが好きです。

I know that between 2) and 3) the difference is that 2) is more casual and 3) is more formal (if there is any other difference, tell me please). As for 4), I don't know which are the differences between using one とか in a sentence, or using two like in 2). And what about 1)? what differentiates 1) from 2), 3) and 4)? I don't understand this combination of や and とか in the same sentence.

Could you please help me with that?

3

First, I would have to mention this even though it is not part of your question. The 「[私]{わたし}は[果物]{くだもの}、」 part at the beginning sounds very unnatural and almost ungrammatical even in the context of very casual speech.

It would need to be changed to:

「果物(で)は、」

「(私は)果物の中で(or 中では)」 ← The personal pronoun is not necessary. It sounds more natural without.  

I know that between 2) and 3) the difference is that 2) is more casual

True. 「とか」 is already a pretty casual word, and by repeating it, it makes it even more casual.

and 3) is more formal

I would not necessarily use the word "formal" here. The phrase "stuff like strawberries and melons" does not sound "formal", does it?

I would only go so far as to say that 3) sounds "less colloquial" or "less casual" than 2). In general, one could safely say that 「や」 sounds less casual than 「とか」, but one should also remember that if repeated, 「や」 could sound pretty casual/informal.

As for 4), I don't know which are the differences between using one とか in a sentence, or using two like in 2).

As discussed above, 「とか」 is already quite casual even when it is used once in a short sentence. The more times you use it in a sentence, the more casual and colloquial it will sound. It is somewhat analogous to the repeated use of the word "like" in English by some speakers. You would want to avoid it at all costs.

And what about 1)? what differentiates 1) from 2), 3) and 4)?

1) sounds OK and quite natural. It sounds less "sloppy" than 2) and slightly more casual than 3). (#3 sounds the least casual.) 1) also feels almost the same as 4) in terms of casualness (to my Japanese ears).

To nitpick, 1) would suggest more strongly that there are other kinds of fruit (besides strawberries and melons) that the speaker likes than 4) does.

1

As mentioned in l'électeurさん’s answer, the word 果物 needs to be followed by では or something like that in order to mean what you really mean. 「私は果物、いちごやメロンが好きです。」 sounds like a cute imaginary character in a kids’ TV show saying “I am fruit, I like strawberries and melons.”

Those example sentences above would sound more natural in these ways.

(1)「果物では、いちごメロンとかが好きです。」

(2)「果物だと、いちごとかメロンとかが好きです。」

(3)「果物では、いちごメロンが好きです。」

(4)「果物だと、いちごとかメロンが好きです。」

 

Formal vs Casual

では can be formal or casual.

だと is a casual expression, so it’s often used with とか which is also casual.

とか is casual but can be used in friendly keigo.

や can be formal or casual.

 

Colloquial vs Literary

や can be colloquial or literary.

とか is a colloquial expression.

 

Using with Nouns or Other Words

や can be used with nouns generally.

とか can be used with nouns, verbs or adjectives.

「イチゴを切るとか潰すとかしてヨーグルトに入れるとおいしい。」

 

Position

や can be used between nouns.

とか can be used between words or after a word.

 

Meaning

や and とか have the same meaning.

私は動物園でゾウキリンを見ました。

私は動物園でゾウとかキリンを見ました。

私は動物園でゾウキリンとかを見ました。

私は動物園でゾウとかキリンとかを見ました。

All of these sentences above express that the speaker saw elephants and giraffes at the zoo, and imply that s/he also saw other animals.

 

Conclusion

So, the differences between や and とか are usage and impression.

(3)「果物では、いちごメロンが好きです。」

is polite or written-language-like. (1)(2)(4) are all casual or friendly keigo style.

(2)「果物だと、いちごとかメロンとかが好きです。」

is the most casual one. とか is very colloquial so can be used in personal emails or something, but can almost never be used in assignment writings, reports etc.

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