is a word that belongs to a unique family of particles in Japanese called 並立助詞（へいりつじょし） (listing particles). As the name suggests, these particles are used for listing groups of items that share similarities. とか
can be used after verbs, or nouns, to express ‘among other things, (A)’.
For my health, I do things like eat vegetables and drink water.
Are things like turtles and snapping turtles delicious?
When multiple things are listed, the last item in the list can (and often does) have とか
I like hot pots that include things like pumpkin, sweet potatoe, cabbage, and shiitake.
とか is used to list items in a non-exhaustive way. What this means is that the listener will assume that there are other items in the list, apart from what is stated directly. The speaker is just providing a few examples of a (potentially much larger) category.
As we have seen, とか
may be used with verb phrases. This is in contrast to や
, a similar grammar point that can only be used for listing nouns.
Eat what’s in the refrigerator or something. (Natural Japanese)
Eat things in the refrigerator or something. (Unnatural Japanese, as や cannot be used with verbs)