Common mistake et al (at all)

Common English Grammar Mistakes: et al (at all)

English grammar can be tricky, and even the most seasoned writers often make mistakes. One common error that frequently goes unnoticed is the misuse of "et al" instead of "at all." While these two phrases may sound similar, their meanings are completely different. Let's take a closer look at these words and when to use them correctly.

The Meaning of "at all"

"At all" is a common idiom in English that is used to emphasize a negative statement. It is typically used in questions, negative sentences, or with verbs such as "like" or "want." Here are a few examples:

  • Do you like spicy food at all?
  • I don't want to go out at all today.

The Meaning of "et al."

"Et al." is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase "et alii" or "et aliae," which translates to "and others" in English. It is commonly used in academic writing when referencing a source with multiple authors. However, it should only be used after citing the full list of authors' names at least once. Here's an example:

  • Smith, Johnson, and et al. (2019) conducted a comprehensive study on climate change.

It's important to note that "et al." should not be used in general writing or when referring to people in a non-academic context. Using it incorrectly can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.

For those who want to ensure their writing is error-free, there are tools like Linguix grammar checker available. Linguix can help identify and correct common grammar mistakes, including the incorrect use of "et al" instead of "at all." With its intuitive interface and advanced grammar checking algorithms, Linguix is a valuable resource for writers of all levels.

et al (at all) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    That was no problem et al.

    That was no problem at all.

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