Is the following correct?

If the item is unknown, pending, unavailable, etc. please talk to your administrator.


Yes, but it needs a comma after the period of etc.

  • I had that at first and the I took it away! Thanks Jul 2 '14 at 18:53
  • 2
    Strip the list down to one element. If you need a comma, then you need a comma after the last element in the list. I.E., "If the item is unknown, please call..." Ergo, you need the comma after the etc. The period remains because it's an abbreviation.
    – DrRandy
    Jul 2 '14 at 18:57
  • Good advice, @DrRandy!
    – Rauni
    Feb 8 '17 at 11:42

If etc. were followed by a comma, most people would consider that grammatical.

Being extremely pedantic, the phrase et cetera means "and others", which is the wrong conjunction in this context. You could instead use vel sim., an abbreviation of the Latin phrase "vel similia" meaning "...or similar". I wouldn't seriously suggest this, of course, since very few people would recognise that term and none would be confused by your failure to use it.

However, this does serve as yet another reason to think twice before using etc. Why not simply list all the cases in which the reader should talk to their administrator? Are there any, other than the ones listed?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.