"e.g." and "i.e."Introduction “e.g.”“i.e.”Gettingthem wrongFormat Exercises
So whats the difference between "e.g." and "i.e."?IntroductionThese two come from Latin and they are quite common in English writing.The Latin abbreviations "i.e." and "e.g." come up very frequently in writingand would probably come up more often if people were more sure of whenit is right to use "i.e." and when "e.g." is required. To me, the only way tofigure it out is to know what they stand for.I.E. - What Does i.e. Mean?"I.e." stands simply for "that is," which written out fully in Latin is id est. "I.e." isused in place of "in other words," or "it / that is." It specifies or makes more clear.E.G. - What Does e.g. Mean?"E.g." means "for example" and comes from the Latin expression exempligratia, "for the sake of an example," with the noun exemplum in the genitive(possessive case) and singular to go with gratia in the ablative (prepositionalcase) singular. "E.g." is used in expressions similar to "including," when you arenot intending to list everything that is being discussed.
“e.g.”The abbreviation e.g. is used to provide an example:Examples:Big cities, e.g. New York, London and Tokyo offer more excitingactivities.You should hang out more with people in your own age, e.g.Tom and Kate.Tropical fruit, e.g. bananas, mangoes and avocados, are shippedthroughout the world.Notice the comma before the “e.g.”
More Examples:The buffet provided excellent variety, e.g., vegetarian and non-vegetarian soups, Italian and French breads and numerous sweets.(e.g. = for example)He was the school champion of many activities (e.g., chess,badminton and 110m hurdles).(e.g. = for example)Remember: e.g. is an abbreviation, so you MUST use a period / full stop.Notice the comma before and after the “e.g.”Notice the examples are set off in parenthesis before and commaafter the “e.g.”
“i.e.”You use this "i.e." when you want to explain exactly what something means.Examples:He is rather confused, i.e. he is not sure what to do.We are going on a short vacation, i.e. 3-4 days.Since Linda is moving to the north, i.e. Montreal in Canada, we cantsee each other any moreSo the difference is that with "e.g." you are just giving an example,whereas with "i.e." you are explaining exactly what it means.Notice the comma before the “e.g.”
The abbreviation i.e. is used to restate an idea more clearly or offermore information.Examples:It happened in August; i.e. two months ago.(i.e. = in other words)It happened in August; e.g. two months ago.(e.g. = for example)Service charge is included in all prices, i.e., you dont have toleave a tip.(i.e. = in other words)Remember: e.g. is an abbreviation, so you MUST use a period / full stop.Notice the semicolon before and comma after the “e.i.” or justcommas .
Getting Them WrongOften mixing the abbreviations up does not mean your sentence isgrammatically incorrect. However, getting them wrong will changethe meaning of your sentence.Examples:All amphibians are thriving in the new pond; e.g., the two bullfrogswere being very active yesterday.(This sentence is fine grammatically. From it, we infer that there aremore amphibians than two bullfrogs in the pond.)All amphibians are thriving in the new pond; i.e., the two bullfrogswere being very active yesterday.(This sentence is fine grammatically. We infer that the onlyamphibians in the pond are the two bullfrogs.)
REMEMBERING WHICH IS WHICHThis may assist in remembering:e.g. = "example given“i.e. = "in effect"
Starting a sentence is okay:He directs a variety of genres. E.g., he directs crime, disaster, drama andfantasy.Comma before is okay:He directs a variety of genres, e.g., crime, disaster, drama, fantasy.Semicolon before is okay:He directs a variety of genres; e.g., crime, disaster, drama, fantasy.Brackets are okay:He directs a variety of genres (e.g., crime, disaster, drama, fantasy).
Comma after e.g. or i.e.In the US, it is usual to follow e.g. or i.e. with a comma. It is lesscommon in the UK. There is leniency in all conventions. Thegolden rule is: be consistent.Full Stops (Periods ) or notIt is usual to see full stops (periods) with e.g. and i.e.However, you can write them without. The goldenrule is simply: be consistent.
DONT USE ETC. AFTER E.G.The examples you offer after using e.g. are usually samples from a morecomplete list. Therefore, it is often not appropriate to use etc. after e.g.since it is understood that you are only offering a partial list by way ofexample. In the example below, the etc. is redundant:Mark needs gloves to handle live fishing bait (e.g., rag worm, lugworm, crab, etc.)In the example above:the use of e.g. is correctthe use of etc. is wrong
Select the correct answer:Q1 You must always follow i.e. and e.g. with a comma.Q2 You should never use a semicolon before i.e.Q3 I love mints; e.g. Polos. Therefore, I love:a. Yes, thats rightb. Only if it looks goodc. Not truea. Not trueb. Only if your comma key is brokenc. Truea. Just Polosb. Polos and Everton mintsc. Many types of mints, including PolosShow Answers
Select the correct answer:Q1 I know rock stars; e.g. Bob Geldof. Therefore, I know:Q2 You should never use a semicolon before i.e.Q3 I am scared of dogs; i.e. Jack Russells. Therefore, I am scared of:a. Some rock stars, including Bob Geldofb. Bob Geldofs mates matec. Just Bob Geldofa. Only if your comma key is brokenb. Truec. Not truea. All dogsb. All small dogsc. Jack RussellsShow Answers
Which of the following sentences is incorrect?John likes vegetables, i.e. lettuce and carrots.Many countries, e.g. France and Italy, will participate.My family, i.e. my parents and brothers, wont agree to this.Farm animals, e.g. cows and sheep, need natural food.Show Answers
AnswerThe incorrect sentence is sentence number one:John likes vegetables, i.e. lettuce and carrots.Why?"I.e." is used the explain exactly what something means, not justto give an example.Naturally, the group of vegetables contains many other groupmembers.The same sentence correctedTo correct the sentence, we could say:John likes vegetables, e.g. lettuce and carrots.John likes vegetables, such as lettuce and carrots.John likes vegetables, for example lettuce and carrots.