AとB is an exhaustive list, whereas AやB and AやBなど mean A and B and more. (And AとBなど feels inconsistent.) But is there a difference between AやB and AやBなど?

Aなど means 'something like A' or 'A and the like': removing 'など' would substantially change the meaning. On the other hand, AやB and AやBなど are (exactly / more or less) synonymous.

Towards a better understanding of など is related but is about Aなど rather than about AやBなど (it does not have a single 'や' in it).


For all intents and purposes, I would say using them interchangeably is not a mistake. At least I would.

Now if you really want to dig deep, など is simply adding additional emphasis.

The translation is going to sound weird (because, again, they are pretty much the same), but to give you a rough idea:

  • スーパーには、りんごやナシがあります。In the supermarket, there are apples and pears (and so on).
  • スーパーには、りんごやナシなどがあります。In the supermarket, there are apples and pears and so on (you're explicitly stating it).

Additionally, など carries the nuance of 例えば (for example):

  • スーパーは、りんごやナシがあります。(neutral, but implies you have other things too)
  • スーパーは、りんごやナシなどがあります。(for example you can find pears and apples, explicitly saying you have other things too).

The 大辞林 第三版 states:

① 多くの事柄の中から、主なものを取りあげて「たとえば」の気持ちをこめて例示する。

Which highlights the role of as emphasis in a sentence. I would add that it is mostly a word you will see written / used in formal situations, and one could argue that it is sometimes (overly?) used as a "stylistic tool" of writing (〜や〜など sounds more formal than 〜や〜).

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