The cytoplasm of all cells contains structures, limited to ribosomes on rough endoplasmic reticulum and vesicles.

The independent clause at the beginning makes sense, but it lost from "limited"... (and to think this is from my biology textbook).

Does it mean that the structures formed in cells are always limited to only having "...ribosomes..." (This can't be true based off of my existing biology knowledge). Or, does it mean that any structures can form except "...ribosomes..". Or, does it mean that the cytoplasm contains everything except "...ribosomes..."?

The context is just about cell organelles.

1 Answer 1


I'm answering my own question because it clicked to me while I was writing the question. I'm pretty sure it means that ctyoplasm contains all organelles except "...ribosomes...", like I predicted in my third guess.

  • 1
    Your surmise would run counter to the normal meaning of limited to. It does not mean "excluding" or "except for". The clause headed by limited seems to provide information about structures.
    – TimR
    Feb 21, 2019 at 15:30
  • But it's possible, of course, that the author of the textbook is not using "limited to" properly. The island was nearly devoid of life. The animals we found there were limited to a few species of vole and a species of flightless bird. That means voles and that flightless bird were the only living things found on the island. But you can see how someone who was unfamiliar with the phrase might think that it was an exception to the phrase devoid of life.
    – TimR
    Feb 21, 2019 at 15:36

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