Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 9: 13/13

Things like, And the like

Cannot be used after verbs, unlike とか


Noun + + Noun


  • Part of Speech


  • Part of Speech

    Sentence Ending Particle

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About や

is a particle that has several different roles in Japanese, with the most common being as an adverbial particle. is used similarly to as 'and', but rather than listing specific things in a group, it lists 'things like (A)'.

is always used to group nouns, and simply comes directly after them.

To compare how and are different, imagine that there is a bowl of fruit. In this bowl there are apples, oranges, and peaches. If is used to list the apples and oranges, it would give the listener the impression that there are no peaches. This is called an 'exhaustive' list, meaning that all possibilities should be listed. However, if is used, the listener would know that there are other things in the bowl apart from the apples and oranges. In this way, is a better choice when you want to say 'and', but don't want to limit the group that you are listing.


cannot be used after verb phrases. This is done with たり, or とか.




    I bought things like water and snacks at the convenience store.


    There are things like Hiragana and Katakana and Kanji.


    I went to places like Kyoto and Tokyo and Osaka.


    I like playing sports like soccer and tennis.


    Please eat things like fruits and vegetables.

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や – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (7 in total)

  • Pep95


    What does this mean?

  • Inounx


    I have some trouble understanding this sentence:
    冷蔵庫に肉 とかがあります
    I don’t understand why the “とか” part is here, and what it means ?
    I supposed it was the equivalent of “や” but as “や” is more formal than “とか” I am not sure why they would be mixed ?

  • Pushindawood


    @Inounx Hey! You are right that や is usually considered more formal than とか, however, they both can be found together in the same sentence, especially in modern Japanese. Since や implies that not everything is listed and can only be used once in a sentence, any nouns listed after や can be accompanied by とか or など. Cheers!

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