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My question is regarding the usage of the adverbs et al and etc. and their meanings.

I have recently noticed that I have "perhaps" used the adverbs like et al often at wrong places. That is so because by the meaning of adverb et al I used to think "and others". E.g. "it includes WSJ, Times, Economist et al". I was half sure about its usage there. I thought the adverb "etc." can also come there, but I went by the adverb "et al"; thinking that "and others" would be more appropriate. My confusion regarding them increased when I decided to see the "thorough" meaning of the adverb "et al" . From what I have inferred , not sure correctly, is that the adverb "et al" is used mostly with name nouns like Smith, John etc. E.g. "Snoopy, Charlie Brown et al get a new owner"

So, now please explain three things to me. What is the difference between the adverbs "etc." and "et al"? Where should they(et al, etc.) be used? And where can they be used? Thirdly, did I correctly used the adverb "et al" in my e.g.?

PS:Sorry for a bit long-winded post. I wanted to explain my confusion clearly to get a good explanation Emotion: smile. I can't speak succinctly as I don't command over the language.

Regards and thanks for reading and answering.Emotion: smile
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Hi,

That's where Latin comes in handy. Emotion: smile

et al. = et alii/alia = and other people/things
etc. = et cetera = and (the) other things, and the remainders, and the rest

I use "et al." only when citing texts (books, book chapters, academic articles) written by more than two people - just write the surnames of the first two authors, followed by "et al." in italics.

For instance, if I were quoting a work of John Brown, Mary White, Robert Star and Anna Doe published in 2001 I'd write something like "In their study, Brown, White et al. (2001) have demonstrated that...".

Does that help?
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PS: Cambridge dictionary supports my previous post, although in its example it places "et al." after the surname of the first author. Why they do that, I don't know. I am only familiar with the Harvard style of referencing, according to which we use "et al." only when there are more than two authors, and we place it after the second surname, as I wrote in my previous post.


Specialized abbreviation for et alia: and others.
It is used in formal writing to avoid a long list of names of people who have written something together
The method is described in an article by Feynman et al.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/et-al

Tanit, thanks for your reply. It really helped to a certain extend. But, to be honest I can't say for sure I've understood it fully wellEmotion: smile. Therefore, more replies on this topic from you or the members would be appreciated. Emotion: smile
Hi again.

Look, my advice is quite simple: unless you are writing an academic piece of coursework or a scientific article/book AND are citing something that was written by more than two authors, don't use "et al.". Use only "etc." (and not too often!) . Emotion: wink
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