We know we can connect nouns with the と particle like so:

野菜やさいと さかなと 牛乳ぎゅうにゅうと みず
Vegetables and fish and milk and water.

But the repeated use of と becomes cumbersome when we need to enumerate a long list. We want to say “A, B, C, and so on”. In this case, we use the following structure with the particles や and など.

【A】【B】など
A, B, etc.
テレビ 冷蔵庫れいぞうこなどを います。
I will buy a television, a fridge, and so on.

Contrast this to the sentence which only uses と.

テレビと 冷蔵庫れいぞうこを います。
I will buy a television and a fridge.
数学すうがく 科学かがくなど 勉強べんきょうします。
I will study mathematics and chemistry, etc.

The object を is very often omitted when など is used.

ワイン ウイスキーなどの ちがいが わかりません。
I don’t understand the difference wines and whiskies.

とか is the casual way of saying the above. In fact, you will never heard や and など used in conversation (or, at least, very rarely). You will hear とか all the time. What makes とか particularly versatile is that it can be added to just about anything (や can only be used with nouns).

牛乳ぎゅうにゅうとか パンとか う。
I’ll buy milk and bread and other things.
彼女かのじょは「うーん」とか「えーと」とか う。
She was umming and arring.
岩崎いわさきとか なんとか う人。
A person called Iwasaki or something.
You May Also Like

Expressing the Potential (できる)

In order to express the potential in Japanese we need to alter the verb ending. The way we…

Nominalising Verbs (こと)

The ability to nominalise verbs is arguably the single piece of grammar that lets us move away from…

Essential Conjunctions: But (が)

We form a “but” in Japanese by appending the が particle to the end of the clause. 旅行りょこうに行いきたいですが、休やすみが取とれません。…

Japanese Conjunctions: Or (か)

We need the か particle to form “or”. In its simplest form: お茶ちゃかコーヒー。 Tea or coffee. For more…