So I was wondering if someone could clear up when you are allowed to omit と when listing things and when it's usually recommended to omit と.

Here are some examples of sentences I found in a book that either omit と altogether or only omit one or two and it's confusing.

On this trip I traveled mainly around southern Europe, to Spain, Italy, and France

Why in the above sentence do they omit と after スペイン and イタリア but include it after フランス?

Then in the following sentence they omit と altogether:

During the summer vacation I traveled around three countries: Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Then in the next one they include と between the first and second noun but leave it between the second and third noun:

We have a beginners' class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

Does this mean that you can choose to use と or leave it out when you like?

2 Answers 2


I tried to investigate a bit (and was surprised by the number of white papers about the classification of conjunctions in the Japanese language).

I found that this discussion seemed very close to your question:

A summary of the replies in that discussion:

  • In enumerations of more than 2 things, you usually use the conjunction/particle と only once ; using more than that is an influence of the usage of "and" in English, and might also sound childish

  • It is OK to use と after the first item in the list ; or before the last one. However there are cases where the と only "applies" to the items just before and after it (grouping them in a same category). (Maybe imagine a sentence like "the boat contained men and women, apples, and bricks" where the first 2 items would be grouped in a same category by "and").

You might also be interested in this discussion a bit similar but about や, where it is also mentioned that its position in the enumeration connotes different groupings:


Meaning of と in your first example,


sounds different from the other two examples. It doesn't sound to be the list indicator.

In fact, I found this explanation in Wikitionary.

  1. 様態・比喩的な役目を果たす。というように

    • 泡と消えた
    • 花見と洒落込む
    • 東京、名古屋、大阪と移動する
    • 起床は五時と寺の朝は早い
    • ごまんといる
    • そんなことは何百回とあった

と. (2022年3月16日00:02). Wiktionary, フリー多機能辞典. 2022年3月19日02:46 https://ja.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=%E3%81%A8&oldid=1651016 にて閲覧.

The third example,


is particularly similar to your first example.

The Japanese,


is a bit strange. It should read 様態を表したり、比喩的な役目を果たしたりする。(presenting detailed description or giving a metaphor).

In your first example, スペイン、イタリアそしてフランスと gives a detailed description to the phrase おもに南ヨーロッパを中心に, which in turn modifies the verb 回った. (Or, you can interpret the sentence as both スペイン、イタリアそしてフランスと and おもに南ヨーロッパを中心に modify 回った.) The sentence can be rephrased as

  • 今回の旅行ではスペイン、イタリアそしてフランスというように、おもに南ヨーロッパを中心に回った。
  • 今回の旅行ではスペイン、イタリアそしてフランスの順番で、おもに南ヨーロッパを中心に回った。
  • 今回の旅行ではスペイン、イタリア、フランスなどの南ヨーロッパの国々を中心に回った。
  • 今回の旅行ではおもに南ヨーロッパを中心に回り、スペイン、イタリア、フランスを訪れた。

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