Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 3: 7/18

Among other things, For example, Such as

For non-exhaustive lists

Verb (A) + + Verb (B) + (
Noun (A) + + Noun (B) + (
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使用域 一般
とか 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)’.
  • 健康(けんこう)のために野菜(やさい)食(た)べとか水(みず)飲(の)とかています
    For my health, I do things like eat vegetables and drink water.
  • 亀(かめ)とかすっぽんとか美味(おい)しんです
    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 omitted.
  • かぼちゃとかサツマイモとか白菜(はくさい)とかシイタケ入(はい)っている鍋(なべ)好(す)き
    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.
Fun Fact
As we have seen, とか may be used with verb phrases. This is in contrast to , a similar grammar point that can only be used for listing nouns.
  • 冷蔵庫(れいぞうこ)の中(なか)あるもの食(た)べとかてください
    Eat what’s in the refrigerator or something. (Natural Japanese)
  • 冷蔵庫(れいぞうこ)の中(なか)あるもの食(た)べてください
    Eat things in the refrigerator or something. (Unnatural Japanese, as cannot be used with verbs)
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I like colors such as blue and light blue.
If you are free tomorrow or, for example this weekend, let's go watch a movie.
I think people like Tom Cruise for example, or Brad Pitt are cool.
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みんなの日本語 II
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[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
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Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
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