Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

how to be vague in English

Do you know how to be vague and general in English when you can’t or don’t want to give a lot of extra details?

Today we’ll show you exactly how to do it in a natural conversation with a native speaker.

Let’s start today with an example:

  • A: What are you doing this weekend Lindsay?
  • B: Oh I’m going skiing, gonna drink some craft beer, do some hiking and whatnot.


Today’s episode is inspired by another question from Fabrice who attended the Urban Immersion Adventure.

Here is Fabrice’s question:

I could noticed that a lot of people add “and what not” at the end of sentences, like “I was hanging at home and what not”. I think that I know what it means, but it’s a little difficult for me to use: could you throw a few examples of how and when to use it?

I hope that a lot of students will enroll for the next Boston and NYC adventures, it’s such an amazing program!! Keep the good work, and good luck in Japan, it’s an amazing project!!! Listening to your podcast everyday makes me happy and improve my English so much, I’m so grateful!!

Have a wonderful weekend.



Great question!

Quick answer:  When you use “And what not” at the end of your statement it just means “and more.”

You are specifically stating that the “more” is similar to what you were already talking about.

Here is an example: “I ate so much junk food at the party; chips, dip, cookies and whatnot.”


Other ways to be vague:

  • Et cetera– Sometimes people say this three times in a row.
    • Example: “Oh we went to the store today. I feel like I go there every Monday, Tuesday, etc etc etc. It never ends!”


  • And the like/and so on- This sounds very formal but some people do use it.
    • Example: “This project focuses on our current sales. How can we improve sales, increase marketing, and the like/and so on?”



Throw these phrases into your conversation when you want to be vague and not list out all of the details.

Try it and see how natives react.

Let us know what questions you have.


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