Is the following sentence correct?

The list had a variety of foodstuffs: oranges, apples, bananas and sardines to name a few.

Is it okay to use the phrase 'to name a few' with a colon, and also do I need to put a comma before 'to name a few'?

  • 4
    It's fine, just make sure to add a comma after the list and before "to name a few."
    – Robusto
    Nov 24, 2020 at 2:05
  • "Etc." is synonymous with "to name a few". I don't see why not. Dec 24, 2020 at 11:12
  • 1
    I think the phrase you want is "to name but a few."
    – Greybeard
    Apr 23, 2021 at 11:10
  • @Greybeard With or without "but" is fine: see Farlex Free Dictionary
    – Stuart F
    Oct 10, 2022 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


One of the functions of the colon is to introduce a following list


Hence, your colon usage is correct. Your list is separated properly by commas with and as the last conjunction. But the list’s qualifying phrase to name a few needs to be separated from it by a comma. Otherwise we have the momentary image of talking sardines!

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