Ask Difference

Include vs. Including — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 25, 2024
Include means to make something a part of a whole or group, whereas including serves as a participle, often introducing specifics within the whole.
Include vs. Including — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Include and Including


Key Differences

Include is a verb that implies the action of making one or more things a part of a group or collection. For instance, a recipe may require you to include several ingredients to complete a dish. On the other hand, including is used to specify items or elements that are part of the larger group mentioned, often appearing in the middle or at the end of sentences to introduce examples or details.
When you use include, it typically signifies the initiation of the action of addition, suggesting that something is being added to a set or group. This could be in various contexts, such as including a new member in a team. Whereas including is often used to provide a non-exhaustive list of items that are part of a larger group, indicating that the list could be longer and there are more items not explicitly mentioned.
Include often requires an object to complete its meaning, denoting what needs to be added. For example, a club might include new members to expand its community. Including, however, functions more as a connector or a clarifier within a sentence, linking the items mentioned to the broader topic or group being discussed without needing an additional object to convey its message.
In instructions or formal documents, include can serve as a directive, instructing the reader to ensure certain elements are part of a submission or process. It carries an imperative tone. On the other hand, including appears more informatively, aiming to elaborate or specify, rather than command, making it a gentler way of adding information.
Include is often followed by direct objects or a list of items that are being added to a group or collection, making it clear and direct in its application. Including, on the other hand, can introduce both specific examples and general categories, providing flexibility in how additional information is presented within the context.

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech



Initiates action of addition
Introduces specifics within a whole


Requires an object
Serves as a connector


Can be imperative
Informative, specifying

Example Context

"Please include your resume."
"Items, including your resume, are needed."

Compare with Definitions


To consider as part of something.
The tour price includes accommodation and meals.


As a part of.
There are many options, including chocolate and vanilla.


To make part of a list or group.
Be sure to include your references at the end of your report.


Used to specify one or more parts of a group or total.
Everyone, including the teacher, was surprised.


To involve in a group or activity.
The coach decided to include more players in the training session.


Mentioning explicitly as part of something else.
The package, including all taxes, comes to $200.


To add to a set or collection.
She decided to include a personal letter with her application.


Denoting inclusion without limitation.
He enjoys many activities, including swimming and hiking.


To contain as a part of something.
This textbook includes chapters on both world wars.


When indicating inclusion within a larger set.
Various genres, including drama and comedy, will be explored in the class.


Make part of a whole or set
We have included some hints for beginners in this section


Containing as part of the whole being considered
Weapons were recovered from the house, including a shotgun
Languages including Welsh and Gaelic


To contain or take in as a part, element, or member.


To contain or take in as a part, element, or member.


To consider as part of or allow into a group or class
Thanked the host for including us.


To consider as part of or allow into a group or class
Thanked the host for including us.


To bring into a group, class, set, or total as a (new) part or member.
I will purchase the vacation package if you will include car rental.


Such as, among which; introducing one or more parts of the group or topic just mentioned.
All you have to do is to fill in the details, including your name and address and the amount you wish to give.


To consider as part of something; to comprehend.
The vacation package includes car rental.
Does this volume of Shakespeare include his sonnets?
I was included in the invitation to the family gathering.
Up to and including page twenty-five


Introducing a finite clause.


(obsolete) To enclose, confine.


(obsolete) To conclude; to terminate.


(programming) To use a directive that allows the use of source code from another file.
You have to include the strings library to use this function.


(programming) A piece of source code or other content that is dynamically retrieved for inclusion in another item.


To confine within; to hold; to contain; to shut up; to inclose; as, the shell of a nut includes the kernel; a pearl is included in a shell.


To comprehend or comprise, as a genus the species, the whole a part, an argument or reason the inference; to contain; to embrace; as, this volume of Shakespeare includes his sonnets; he was included in the invitation to the family; to and including page twenty-five.
The whole included race, his purposed prey.
The loss of such a lord includes all harm.


To conclude; to end; to terminate.
Come, let us go; we will include all jarsWith triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity.


Have as a part, be made up out of;
The list includes the names of many famous writers


Consider as part of something;
I include you in the list of culprits


Add as part of something else; put in as part of a set, group, or category;
We must include this chemical element in the group


Allow participation in or the right to be part of; permit to exercise the rights, functions, and responsibilities of;
Admit someone to the profession
She was admitted to the New Jersey Bar

Common Curiosities

Can "include" and "including" be used interchangeably?

No, "include" is a verb that indicates the action of adding, while "including" is used to specify items within a group, often in a non-exhaustive manner.

Is "including" always followed by a list?

Often, but not always. "Including" can introduce one item or several, indicating examples within a larger set.

Can "include" stand alone in a sentence?

No, "include" typically requires an object or list to specify what is being included.

Is "including" used only in written English?

No, "including" is used in both written and spoken English to introduce specifics within a group.

How does "include" affect the tone of a sentence?

"Include" can give a sentence an imperative tone, especially in contexts where something is required or instructed.

Does "including" need to be followed by a comma?

In many cases, "including" is followed by a comma when it introduces a nonrestrictive clause, but this can vary based on style guides.

Can "include" be used in passive voice?

Yes, "include" can be used in passive constructions, e.g., "The list was included in the email."

Can "include" imply mandatory inclusion?

Yes, "include" can be used to state that something must be a part of a group or collection, often found in instructions or requirements.

Does "including" suggest a complete list?

No, "including" usually introduces a partial list, implying there are more items not mentioned.

Is "include" formal?

"Include" can be used in both formal and informal contexts, depending on the tone and purpose of the communication.

Can "including" begin a sentence?

Yes, "including" can start a sentence when it's used to add information or specify items related to the previous sentence or clause.

How does the use of "including" affect readability?

Using "including" can enhance readability by breaking down information and specifying details within a broader context.

Can "include" be used in questions?

Yes, "include" can be used in questions asking if something is a part of a group or set.

Is "including" necessary in a sentence?

"Including" is not always necessary, but it can add clarity and specificity by detailing what is part of a larger set or category.

How does "including" clarify a sentence?

"Including" provides specific examples or details about the items being discussed, making the sentence clearer and more informative.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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