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Grammar and Writing

Use of comma after "etc." at the end of a sentence in American English

January 17, 2014
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Question Description

Is it correct to use comma after etc., at the end of the sentence in American style of English? Example: Various technologies like Java, Microsoft, Unix, etc.?

Answer

"Etc." is used to indicate that only some of the items on a list have been used. Generally, in American English, if "etc." is used in the middle of a sentence, then it is followed by a comma. (Tennis, soccer, baseball, etc., are outdoor games.) However, if this word appears at the end of a sentence, then the period (which is part of "etc.") serves as the final punctuation mark. It should not be followed by a comma. (Being outdoors, we played tennis, soccer, baseball, etc.).

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