The phrase “including but not limited to” is a commonly used expression that is used to provide examples without restricting the scope of the statement.
This saying is most commonly used in legal documents, contracts, and other forms of formal documents. It is most commonly used to emphasize the most important examples in a long list of items.
In this post, we’ll teach you exactly how to use the expression “including but not limited to” with some examples to make things clear!
What’s The Meaning Of “Including But Not Limited To”?
The phrase “including but not limited to” is most commonly a legal expression used by lawyers to provide examples while also conveying that the list is not exhaustive.
This saying is most commonly used in the following situations.
- Contracts (i.e. Tenet responsibilities in a rental agreement)
- Legal Documents (i.e. Lawsuit)
- Written Communication (i.e. Formal business memo to a company)
This saying signifies that several examples are going to be listed, but that it is not a complete list. It implies that other similar or related items may also be included.
Here is a list of examples that demonstrate how to use the phrase “including but not limited to” correctly.
- The company’s dress code policy includes, but is not limited to, professional attire such as suits, dresses, and collared shirts.
- The conference will cover a wide range of topics, including but not limited to, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, cybersecurity, and data analytics.
- The scholarship program is open to all students, including but not limited to, those pursuing degrees in science, engineering, mathematics, and humanities.
- The restaurant menu offers a variety of vegetarian options, including but not limited to, salads, pasta dishes, and vegetable stir-fries.
- The terms and conditions of the legal writing stipulate that the contractor will be responsible for providing all necessary equipment, including but not limited to, laptops, software, and office supplies.
In each of these examples the phrase has the same meaning, but is used in different contexts.
What Are The Punctuation Rules?
There are no strict punctuation rules for the phrase “including but not limited to”. However, commas are needed in order to list more than two items in a row as examples. You can also choose to place a comma after “including” to break up the flow of the sentence. However, comma placement depends on your specific writing style.
It is always important to keep the different punctuation rules in mind for any sentence or phrase. In fact, even a small punctuation change can completely change the meaning of a word, phrase, or list of phrases.
Are There Synonyms For ?
Here is a list of synonyms for the expression “including but not limited to”.
- Such as
- For example
- Among others
- Including, but not restricted to
- Including, and not exclusively
Just like we saw in our post about the saying “Quite Frankly“, it is very important to vary your word choice. Using a diverse vocabulary can keep your audience engaged and make your writing stand out from the crowd.
Is This Phrase Only Used In Legal Documents?
No, the saying “including but not limited to” is used in more than just legal writing documents. It can also be used in a variety of different situations and contexts.
- Business Documents
- Academic Writing
- Technical Specifications
- Policies & Guidelines
- Everyday Language & Conversations
This phrase is used to provide examples while conveying that the list is not exhaustive. This means the use cases are essentially endless.
How Popular Is This Phrase?
Google’s ngram viewer shows a very interesting story about this phrase. The popularity of this expression has dramatically fluctuated in the last 80 years! Although it is commonly used in legal writing it can be used in many different official contexts.
However, just like we saw in our post about the words Vendor or Vender, words vary in popularity. Remember, just because a word is popular in the English language does not mean it is grammatically correct!
What Is The Opposite Of “Including But Not Limited To”?
The opposite of the phrase “including but not limited to” would be to say “excluding”. You could also provide a list & state that only what is listed is relevant.
For example, “everyone is free to go out to lunch excluding Mark, John, and Jimmy.”
Frequently Asked Questions
While it does not have a strict legal definition, it is commonly used in contracts and legal documents to clarify the scope of inclusion.
Yes, alternatives such as “such as,” “for example,” or “including, but not restricted to” can be used to convey a similar meaning.
The Bottom Line
The phrase “including but not limited to” serves as a powerful tool to provide examples while allowing for flexibility and the inclusion of additional items beyond those explicitly mentioned.
As we stated, it is most commonly used in contractual writing but can have many different use cases. If you need some extra help with understanding terms like this, consider using our Sentence Review Tool to make things easy for you!