As I learned from Wiktionary site, there are exists these Latin phrases:

  • et alii - And others; used of men or boys, or groups of mixed gender; masculine plural

  • et aliae - And others; used of women or girls; feminine plural

  • et alios - And others; used of people, unless exclusively of female gender

  • et alia - And others; used of things; neuter plural.

Also, a note (actually, a quote) about et alii and it's alternatives:

Alii is masculine, so it can be used for men, or groups of men and women; the feminine, et aliae, is appropriate when the "others" are all female; but as with many loanwords, interlingual use (such as in reference lists) is often invariable. Et alia is neuter plural and thus in Latin text is properly used only for inanimate, genderless objects, but some use it as a gender-neutral alternative.

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_phrases_(E)#et_alii

My actual question is about et alios. As non-native English speaker, I can't understand the definition mentioned above ("used of people, unless exclusively of female gender"). What does it actually mean?


"I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about the meaning of a phrase in Latin, not English." - Mark Beadles

@Mark Beadles I'm actually want to understand the meaning of English phrase: "used of people, unless exclusively of female gender". This "unless exclusively" is something what I can't understand. – jsv

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about the meaning of a phrase in Latin, not English. Mar 3, 2018 at 23:01
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    The "unless exclusively of female gender" means "unless every single one of these people is female". Mar 3, 2018 at 23:09
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    @MarkBeadles It is part of English, in the sense that in its abbreviated form (‘et al.) it was very common. It was on the covers of many a jazz album. Latin tags appear in historical documents in the law and elsewhere.
    – Tuffy
    Mar 3, 2018 at 23:36
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    @MarkBeadles 'Et al' or 'et alia' is certainly part of English usage as a commandeered word. And since 'et al' is non-specific I think it to be quite justifiable to examine the four words above in enquiry.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 3, 2018 at 23:42
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    @jsv The overwhelming preference in both legal and academic contexts is the abbreviation et al. Stick that in the NGram and all the gendered and declined Latin forms will be hugging the bottom.
    – KarlG
    Mar 4, 2018 at 0:30

1 Answer 1


Et alios is in the (masculine plural) accusative case in Latin, which is used when e.g. the "others" are the object in a sentence. So you could use it when the "others" are the object in an English sentence; but this is not normally done in English: we normally use the nominative ("subject") case of foreign words in an English sentence no matter whether they're subject or object. The other forms in your question are all nominatives, so you can always use those. The meaning of alios (masculine plural accusative) is exactly the same as alii (masculine plural nominative) except for the different cases.

P.S. The use of et alia (neuter plural) as a "gender-neutral alternative" is ill advised. It is like the English word it, only used for things, and not for people.

  • Of course, I upvoted. Well, I understand it's very thoughtful answer. Now I need some time to read about objects and subjects in English.
    – user90726
    Mar 3, 2018 at 23:20
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    @jsv: the idea of using different word forms for objects and subjects (except for pronouns) is completely foreign to English speakers ... I suspect it's only people who know something about languages where this is done who would even consider using the accusative case et alios rather than et alii or et aliae. Mar 3, 2018 at 23:27
  • @PeterShor If I can, I would upvote your comment too. :-) So, as I understand from your words, if I want to stay grammatically correct (from both English and Latin points of view), I should avoid of using et alios in English text?
    – user90726
    Mar 3, 2018 at 23:42
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    If you used et alios, you might actually be correct from the Latin point of view. But if you're writing in English, that's beside the point. Nobody uses deum ex machina in English, even when that would be correct in Latin. Mar 3, 2018 at 23:47
  • @PeterShor Thanks, I understand. So, when we want to use some form for mixed group of men and women, we have a choice between et alii and et alia (used of things). The first isn't really gender-neutral (it's more about the men), but the second isn't actually correct in traditional Latin and used in modern English as "a new sense in the old written word"? So, from grammatical point of view, we should stay with et alii?
    – user90726
    Mar 3, 2018 at 23:58

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