Is there a name for a use of "or" that doesn't cover all the cases, such as

We could go to the beach, or go climbing ...

Where there are more activities than are listed.

  • I know Japanese has a distinction between exhaustive "and" と and inexhaustive "and" や but I don't think there's a special name for it when it's inexhaustive (the latter just gets called the incomplete list marker).
    – Muskworker
    Apr 5, 2015 at 2:03
  • 1
    Your example does cover all the cases.
    – Greg Lee
    Apr 5, 2015 at 2:22
  • Yes, you're right. I wasn't sure how to communicate that there were more choices available without listing them in the example. Hmm... Apr 5, 2015 at 2:28
  • Just let your sentence trail off into nothing, by ending with ellipsis. "X, or Y, or. . ." Apr 5, 2015 at 5:46
  • 1
    Related (and maybe a dupe), also from someone with a Japanese background: What's the opposite of a exhaustive list?
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 6, 2015 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


I would call it an open-ended list.

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