meaning of et al
May 24, 2024
Author : Vishal

Many writers have no idea about what does et al mean. Even literature students do not have the slightest idea. It is obvious that many of us do not have much knowledge of the term. This is not to exclude the fact that many book writers confuse between the different styles. This is used in different ways and in different styles, such as APA, MLA, and Chicago. Authors and most scholarly writers have used the term extensively over the long term. However, due to a lack of knowledge regarding the meaning and use, many don’t know about it.

An important factor other than the unfamiliarity with the meaning of et al is that many writers and students do not know the Latin language. This is not particularly patronizing for any aspiring writer or literature student, as many of us don’t know Latin. There are many Latin terms such as etc, versus, circa, ibid, id, i.e., e.g.,. Et al. are also one of them, and they have been a part of the English language for many years. Some of these Latin terms date back over a century.

Highly prolific writers, especially academic writers who are experts in writing, know what does et al mean and know how to use it. As a literature student and as an aspiring writer, you should know about et al. and its usage. Who knows what style of writing you will have to use et al in? But let’s first get familiar with the meaning of the term, and then we will cover how to use it properly. This will help you in creating a professional assignment to submit to your university. Not only that, but you will also be able to remember this information and use it when you’re a known writer yourself.

Etal What does it mean and how to use it

What Does et al. Mean?

The meaning of et al in Latin translates to “and others,” which is used to refer to people in a particular situation. Et al is an abbreviation for “et alia” and includes other iterations in male and female cases. In the masculine plural case, “et alii” is used and “et aliae” in the feminine plural case. In academic writing, the use of et al. happens when there are more than two or three writers. In exceptional cases, you might not need to use et al. even when there are five writers. The use of et al. identifies that there are more contributors to a writing piece than the name shown in the front.

Confusion With Other Latin Terms

Many writers, especially beginners, wonder what does et al mean and often end up confusing it with some other Latin term. Because of the close nature of the Latin terms, it is obvious that many writers, especially students, make the mistake of associating it with some other term. These are some typical cases of confusion when et al. is assumed to be some other Latin term:

  • Etc. is an abbreviation for etcetera, which is used in a list of things, while et al. is specifically a list of people
  • Et alibi is another Latin term which means and translates to “and elsewhere,” used to refer to other locations

How To Use et al.?

If you are still confused, then online assignment help might come in handy! Nonetheless, we will provide you with the basic information on how to use et al. in your writing piece or even assignment. The usage of et al. differs in different writing styles, such as APA, MLA, and Chicago. Remember that each writing style has its own requirements for use, etc., in a particular case. Before we dive into the details of how to use et al. in different styles of writing, you must first understand how to write it properly. Many people often overlook this very basic level of information associated with the use of et al.

You have knowledge of what does et al mean, but take a look at how to write the Latin abbreviation. There are different ways to write et al., and because it is an abbreviation, the use of punctuation has to be correct. Et al is an abbreviation for “et alia” in which it is clear that “et” is a full word in itself. However, alia has been shortened to “al” in the abbreviation, so the punctuation will be in front of al. Many amateur writers and students make the mistake of writing this in the wrong ways. Sometimes, the punctuation is in front of it, and sometimes, there is no punctuation. While it is okay in an informal type of writing like we are doing, it is not in formal writing or official publications.


Considering the meaning of et al as “and others,” the use of this abbreviation in APA style happens when there are three or more authors. Here’s how to use et al. in the APA style:

Number of Authors

First Citation

Subsequent Citation

1-2 Authors

All names

All names

3+ Authors

All names

First author followed by et al


In MLA, when there are three or more authors, use et al. only in the in-text citations.

Number of Authors

In-Text Citation

Work Cited

1-2 Authors

All names

All names

3+ Authors

First author followed by et al

The first author followed by et al


This might be a tricky one, and you might have to ask an expert to “do my essay.” For Chicago style, footnotes, endnotes, and bibliography will have et al. in certain cases. In this style, the use of et al. abbreviations occurs only when there are four or more authors.

Number of Authors




1-3 Authors

All names

All names

All names

4+ Authors

First author followed by et al

First author followed by et al

All names

10+ Authors

First author followed by et al

First author followed by et al

Seven authors followed by et al

Cite Your Work In A Proper Way

Ready to deploy all the practice you have learned so far? We have covered the information on what does et al mean with a little extra information. Most importantly, we explained to you how to use et al. in different writing styles, including APA, MLA and Chicago. The writing style will determine how you are going to use et al. in your writing piece. This is important because it reflects you as a professional writer. This comes as more of an importance when you are pursuing your course. While making an assignment representing your knowledge, “et al.” will be placed in the right place and according to the guidelines.

Many students ask us to “write my essay for me” to clarify their doubts and inconsistencies. The level of difficulty will be eased out by the professionals in our team. We have a dedicated team of academic experts to help you with your assignments. With their level of expertise and knowledge, you can be assured that your assignment’s quality will be sky-high. Register now!

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