and so on (and so forth) repeated in OALD

English Language Learners Asked by soheil on December 23, 2020

I was reading Idioms for the word "forth" on OALD (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary) and I faced this:

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As you can see in the image They put phrases. first one is "and so forth" and second one is "and so on (and so forth)".

I don’t understand why they repeat "and so forth" in the parentheses for the second one. what do they mean?

2 Answers

The idiom in full is “and so on and so forth”.

Since you searched for “forth”, the part of the idiom that has that, will be emphasised.

You can use “and so on” on its own. If you wish to emphasise how incredibly long something is, you can add ”and so forth”.

The teacher kept droning on, it was a shopping list of complaints. Pants were too low, hairstyles were too long, and so on, and so forth.

Here the usage indicates a long list of complaints.

Correct answer by Qroqodeal on December 23, 2020

That repetition you see is because and so forth is actually the sub-heading. Whereas and so on (and so forth) is the actual idiom where it appears as a sub-part.

I guess you are looking into a physical paperback/hardcover copy, hence you see it on the same line. If you check it online, it appears as follows:

image describing the meaning as found in the online OALD

As already said in the accepted answer, and so on can be used as a stand-alone idiom, it can also be used along with and so forth to put special emphasis on the never-ending something (requests, lists, pleas, complaints, etc).

Answered by Dhanishtha Ghosh on December 23, 2020

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