There is a distinct difference between the formal và informal style in any language, & English is no different. It is quite comtháng to find that specific phrases only apply in particular situations, while other expressions and phrases are mostly used only in a formal context, lượt thích in contracts or business.

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“Including but not limited to” means that the terms listed are not limited lớn the explicit ideas expressed in the statement. It is a phrase most often used in legal documents or binding contracts. Comma placement in the phrase is most comtháng before the “but” và after the “to”.

If you are drafting a legal or formal document, using the correct phrases & wording is of the utmost importance to lớn get the proper point across & avoid loopholes. This article will explore the origin & use of the expression, “including but not limited khổng lồ,” what it means, the punctuation that goes along with it, và how to lớn correctly apply it.

Punctuation of “Including but not Limited To


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If you use the phrase “including but not limited to” for a very short danh sách of things, punctuating the actual phrase isn’t a grammatical necessity.

However, if you use it along with a very long or complex các mục, you can use commas so the reader can better understvà what you mean.

The word “including” is a gerund, which means it is a verbal ending in -ing. A verbal is a word based on a verb và, therefore, it is used to lớn indicate an action or state of being.


Although gerunds often need little to no punctuation, it is common khổng lồ place a comma before a gerund like “including” (source).

Some example sentences using a comma before the gerund “including”:

I have sầu many hobbies, including, but not limited lớn, horse riding, fencing, cricket, and painting.

My mom adores great artists, including, but not limited to, Van Gogh, Monet, và Dali.

Comma Use and the Oxford Comma

Writers often use the Oxford comma, also known as the serial comma, in English with long & complex sentences, such as lists for items, which often occurs with the phrase “including but not limited lớn.”

The Oxford comma’s purpose is khổng lồ indicate whether the two last things mentioned in a các mục are two separate things or whether they are examples of the previous thing.

PunctuationSentenceExplanation
No Oxford CommaI love sầu my parents, Rihanna and Sherloông xã Holmes.This means that the speaker loves their parents và that their parents are Rihanna & Sherloông chồng Holmes.
With Oxford CommaI love sầu my parents, Rihanmãng cầu, và Garfield.This is a các mục of people that includes parents, Rihanmãng cầu, và Garfield, & the speaker loves all of them.

If you were speaking, you would not be able to lớn see the punctuation used & would have to use the context of the sentence to deduce its meaning.

However, when writing, although the oxford comma is optional, it easily clarifies the meaning of a sentence & makes it easier to read (source).

When you’re using the phrase “including but not limited to,” you would most likely list a large number of items, so the Oxford comma or serial comma would help with the readability of the sentence as a whole.

“Including but not limited to” Comma Placement

We can use commas in various ways lớn clarify the meaning and ease the readability of your sentence using “including but not limited lớn.”

The first is lớn omit the use of commas entirely. This has the potential to make your sentence seem clumsy và untidy if it includes an extensive danh sách, but it is not wrong. Consider the following example:

The camp activities include but are not limited khổng lồ team building, archery, and fishing.

As you can see from the above sầu example, the only commas in use are in the actual danh sách, but that’s because the menu is short, and the meaning is still clear.

However, many people may find this writing style clumsy, as it seems like a really long sentence that does not offer the reader any breaks.

Therefore, the better way to write a sentence using the phrase “including but not limited to” would be khổng lồ place commas after the “including” và after the “to lớn,” as in this example:

The camp activities include, but are not limited khổng lồ, team building, archery, và fishing.

This writing style offers the reader two breaks in a very long sentence và, as a bonus, looks neat & tidy.

When using commas to break up a sentence, the important thing khổng lồ remember is that the first & last parts should still make sense even if you take the bit between the commas away.

The camp activities include team building, archery, and fishing.

As you can see, the sentence has retained its meaning but is now vaguer, and the possibility of other activities isn’t as obvious.

That is why we use the full phrase “including but not limited to” — the “but not limited to” implies there is more khổng lồ the danh sách than what is mentioned outright.

If you were khổng lồ use the Oxford comma, it wouldn’t change the sentence’s meaning at all & would still be correct (source).

The camp activities include team building, archery, và fishing.

The camp activities include, but are not limited to, team building, archery, & fishing.

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Using “Including but not Limited To” in a Sentence

As with any English phrase, “including but not limited to” needs khổng lồ have properly conjugated verbs depending on the context.

For this phrase specifically, you would conjugate only the word “including,” but rethành viên that the rest of the sentence needs lớn be in line with the proper conjugations related lớn the subject and the noun.

Because “including but not limited to” is often used with the word “is,” you will need lớn conjugate the “is” as well. Let’s look at how we conjugate verbs for “including but not limited to” for a singular or plural subject.

SingularPlural
ExampleThe English alphabet includes but is not limited to lớn the letters A, B, & C.School activities include but are not limited khổng lồ hockey, netball, and basketball.
Explanation“Alphabet” is singular, so you use “includes” & “is.”“Activities” is plural, so you use “include” và “are.”

Examples Using “Including but not Limited To”

As we’ve discussed, the phrase “including but not limited to” can be used khổng lồ indicate that the things named in a certain danh sách are part of something larger, và the larger thing may also include other items not mentioned.

Although it is a legal term, we can also use the phrase in everyday speech, especially if you’re concerned there is something you just couldn’t think of at that moment but that you wouldn’t want to exclude. Below are some sentence examples.

My reading menu includes, but is not limited khổng lồ, Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code, and Atonement.

The company will also pay usual & normal administrative expenses, including, but not limited to lớn, khách sạn stays, shuttles, and food.

Organizations, including, but not limited khổng lồ, businesses, unions, charities, và corporations, aren’t citizens và, therefore, cannot vote.

Our itinerary includes but is not limited to lớn a zoo visit, a museum visit, and lunch at the deli.

I enjoy takeaways, including, but not limited to lớn, KFC, Pizza Hut, & McDonald’s.

Origin and Applications of “Including but not Limited To”

The phrase “including but not limited to” originated in the legal field & has since migrated to other official contexts where specific wording is necessary to cover any potential loopholes.

Although writers mostly use this phrase in a legal or contractual context, it can also be applied in everyday informal speech, although this isn’t a widespread occurrence.

Legal Use

When writing legal documents, exceptional care needs to lớn be paid to word use, as ambiguous meanings or interpretations can have sầu catastrophic or costly impacts.

This is why seemingly redundant phrases such as “including but not limited to” are developed specifically for contractual use.

Even though the words “including” and “not limited to” are similar in meaning, it is important in a legal context to use both as it limits the possibility of ambiguity.

This means that using “including” by itself can lead lớn the understanding that only what someone specifically stated or laid out is included.

If you use both “including” và “not limited to lớn,” this opens up the possibility that the person drafting the document implies the inclusion of a large range of items without the need to lớn danh mục every single one of them.

For example, you could say that the alphabet includes the letters A, B, và C. You will notice that, although the other letters have been left out, the possibility remains that they are also included.

Still, the possibility also exists that the drafter deliberately left out the other letters so as lớn exclude them.

If you were khổng lồ say that the alphabet includes but is not limited to lớn the letters A, B, & C, you ensure that the others are included as well by mặc định.

Although this is a commonly used phrase in legal jargon, certain judges may still consider it vague if someone were to lớn challenge it.

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That means that, should a proper case be made for it, a judge may rule in favor of the opposing tiệc nhỏ if they said that “including but not limited to” was too vague as it did not specifically note down each of the items lớn be included (source).

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