I'm making a list and want the reader to know that this list is not complete, that it is only a part of a larger list... Is it correct to say "this list is short of being exhaustive" in this case?

Is there a better way to say it?


PS: on another note, can I say "this list is anything BUT exhaustive"?

  • 3
    I would just say "This list is not exhaustive." – Caleb Jul 9 '15 at 4:21
  • 1
    Something wrong with "This list is incomplete..." or "Amongst the many possibilities considered..."? – Elliott Frisch Jul 9 '15 at 4:36
  • Another option (besides Caleb Bernard's very sensible one) is to say that the list is "partial" or "selective." – Sven Yargs Jul 9 '15 at 4:36
  • 1
    @RichardMax, I would say "This list is anything BUT exhaustive" is fine, although highly, highly informal. – Caleb Jul 9 '15 at 5:10
  • 1
    If you say "anything but exhaustive" I would infer that it is far from exhaustive—perhaps less than half the possibilities might have been mentioned. – Brian Hitchcock Jul 9 '15 at 6:55

You could say,

items include but are not limited to [list].

Or, at some point before or after the list, you could simply say,

this list is not comprehensive.

EDIT: I realise that I haven't really answered your question, sorry!

I think the phrase this list is short of being exhaustive conveys that almost all the items are included, or at least all the relevant ones, so if that's what you mean to say then by all means use it. You could add some further explanation: ... but includes all the salient points, for example.

As stated in one of the comments, this list is anything but exhaustive conveys that the list is far from complete, and emphasises that it should not be relied upon as to the complete content of the list.


This is a partial, very limited, list.

adjective: partial
    existing only in part; incomplete.
    "a question to which we have only partial answers"
    synonyms:   incomplete, limited, qualified, imperfect, fragmentary, unfinished
    "a partial recovery"
    antonyms:   complete, total
    favoring one side in a dispute above the other; biased.
    "the paper gave a distorted and very partial view of the situation"
    synonyms:   biased, prejudiced, partisan, one-sided, slanted, skewed, colored, unbalanced
    "a very partial view of the situation"
  • Hi, please provide the link and the source for the reference you are citing. – user66974 Aug 14 '15 at 6:53

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